Jota emerges from Celtic loss with huge credit after dogged display

By Euan Davidson

October 1, 2021

Celtic winger Jota has been a genuine ray of light in something of a cloudy spell for the Bhoys.

Even during some disappointing results, the Benfica loanee has delighted supporters with his skill on the ball, his dogged determination and application. Even though Celtic lost 4-0, the same was true of Jota again last night.

On the ball, Jota was making things happen. He had four shots, requiring at least one excellent save from Finnish goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. Not only that, his presence was felt on the left-wing, succeeding with each of his 5 dribbles and crossing the ball with real purpose [FotMob].

Photo by NEIL HANNA/AFP via Getty Images

There is one stat, though, that exemplifies the sheer effort Jota put in. He won 11 duels [FotMob], fearlessly going into 50/50s and defending from the front.

At times, he cut an incredibly frustrated figure. For the third consecutive game, he unfairly found himself not on a winning team.

If Celtic are to truly click in the early portion of the season, Postecoglou is going to have to get Jota levels out of more of his players.

Celtic 0-4 Bayer Leverkusen | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 0-4 Bayer Leverkusen | LIVE Reaction

In many respects, he’s another perfect Postecoglou signing. Part of an enterprising front-three with Kyogo and Abada, there will be games when his relentless energy, tackling and flair will be rewarded.

Celtic manager needs Jota levels from all of his players

At this point in time, it’d be utter insanity not to sign Jota up permanently from Benfica. He seems to be loving life at Celtic, and is even enjoying patter from the supporters about his looks.

It’ll be a tougher sell, though, if Jota can’t have the guys around him showing the same industriousness. It’s genuinely surprising that he’s “only” mustered one goal and two assists to date [Transfermarkt].

The front three available to Postecoglou should be enough to frighten opposition. If Kyogo’s fit for Sunday, then we have a trio of dynamic attacking talents that should be too much for most teams.

It’s no wonder the supporters love him, by the way. Whether it’s St Mirren or Bayer Leverkusen, Jota wants to go at and embarrass defenders. There’s an excellent clip of his efforts last night, with the Portuguese winger putting Jeremie Frimpong on his backside.

Does Postecoglou need to build his attack around Jota? Certainly, he has all the characteristics his manager wants. He has no issue bombing forward, loves to win the ball back high, and has the energy to shuttle back and forth when needed.

Surely, the season will get better for Celtic. With the array of attacking talent available, and those yet to return from injury, there are options all over the place for the manager.

When, and not if, the Bhoys begin to pick up wins, it’ll be the gloriously coiffed Portuguese winger who’ll be key to the good things Celtic do up front.

But for now, he’s got to be a frustrated young man. Consistently on the wrong side of score lines, it’s time for his team-mates to step up to his level.

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