What Manchester City star Bernardo Silva said about Celtic target Jota in 2019

By Euan Davidson

August 28, 2021

Manchester City star Bernardo Silva was singing the praises of Celtic target Filipe Jota years ago.

Jota, reportedly wanted by Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, has shone for club and country at youth level. UEFA picked him in their Team of the Year after a fantastic set of displays in the Under-19 Euros in 2018 [UEFA].

Touted as a star of the future for a while, Celtic are reportedly keen to bring him in on loan. It’d be a smart move, if we’re to believe Bernardo Silva.

Silva, a Euro winner with Portugal and thrice a Premier League champion, endorsed Jota in 2019. In an interview with Portuguese outlet Sol, the tricky midfield dynamo said [Sol]:

“I would really like to face Benfica in the Champions League. The bet that Benfica has made on young people is very good, from Ferro, João Félix, Florentino, to [Filipe] Jota, who [has] been playing less. 

“I would like to be able to take the youth from Benfica’s [team] to Manchester. They’re all very good.”

Celtic to face Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros in Europa League | LIVE Reaction

Celtic to face Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros in Europa League | LIVE Reaction

That’s pretty extravagant praise for a player who was just 20 at the time. Yet, it’s not hard to see why Silva was so forthcoming. In 19-20, Jota made 19 Liga NOS appearances for Benfica. He’s played for the storied Portuguese club 34 times in total [Transfermarkt].

If Manchester City man Bernardo Silva had his way, Jota would be in M11 and not Celtic

It’s frightening to consider how much talent Portugal has produced over recent years. That includes Bernardo Silva, but there’s also Ruben Dias, Joao Felix, Renato Sanches, Diego Dalot, Nuno Mendes and so many more.

So, it makes sense that Celtic would try to exploit the sheer numbers Benfica have, that are keeping a talent like Jota out of the team. A loan move, with Europa League ties, massive crowds and quality football would surely serve him well.

Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

An electric dribbler, there seems little doubt that if Jota had opportunities at Celtic, he’d delight the crowd. Step-overs, flicks and tricks are a substantial part of his game, while he’s improving his end product.

A loan move to Real Valladolid didn’t yield amazing results, but they were a team who weren’t going to see a great deal of the ball in La Liga last season. The Albivioletas are back in the second tier, which tells its own story.

Still, with the backing of a superstar and the technical grounding from a fantastic academy, it seems a worthwhile move for Celtic. If he comes here and gains the right kind of attention, the compliments will keep coming.

Read more: When and where – Celtic’s Europa League fixtures confirmed