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Celtic Face The Jota Question, But I Suspect That Ange Already Knows The Answer.

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A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece wondering if Ange wasn’t preparing us, and this team, for life after Jota. I wrote it because the player was dropped for a couple of games whilst the manager played Maeda wide left. The Japanese has made that position his own, and since he has the question of Jota has taken on a brand new significance.

Way back, before January, the manager was always very cagey when he was asked the Jota question. At the time, he was the player most of the fans and the media were talking about. Ange never once said that we were hopeful of keeping him.

Instead he talked of how the deal had to suit all parties and over and over he reminded folks of what his mantra had been since the hour he walked through the door; “I only want people who want to be here.” Does he know more than he’s letting on?

Has he detected reluctance from Jota to commit to the cause?

The signing of Maeda in January was always coming. Ange loved the guy and knew exactly what he could do, and the player has shown us that. But we all expected him to play through the middle, where he had distinguished himself in Japan.

But right from the start, it was clear that Ange had a different plan for him. So I was moved to wonder in that piece if the manager was already thinking past this season. I thought – and I still think – that Jota might be convinced to stay.

Yet now, though, I wonder if the club believes he’d be worth the outlay. It has been a while since we saw this guy grab a game by the throat. It has, in fact, been too long. He started like lightning in a bottle. You were genuinely mesmerised every time he was in the team. But now he’s just another squad player, no longer a guaranteed first pick.

So I wonder if the manager hasn’t already made the decision not to follow through on the deal. Six million is a lot of money, and when you consider what Ange has done with his budget so far is it hard to believe that he doesn’t have two players earmarked for that kind of cash rather than just one? Just because we stand to bag that Champions League cash if we win this title it doesn’t mean we’re going to spend every penny, or spend recklessly.

Right now, that kind of outlay for Jota would be hard to justify. He just hasn’t performed, in recent months, with the consistency of someone you’d pay that kind of cash for. Carter Vickers, on the other hand, continues to grow into a role he looks born for.

If the fans had the choice and we could only have one of them, it would be him. I wonder if people inside Parkhead haven’t already made that choice.

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  • Darren James Kerr says:

    Give Jota a picture of a Spitfire and let him go.

  • Martin says:

    American, surely?

    But that aside… Jota 2022 is not Jota 2021. I wouldn’t keep Jota 2022. Abada better, there are other wingers too and we may see the Forrest revival

  • DaViEbh0Y Celtic says:

    Jota judged on September-December A+ the assist against Ferencvaros at home, scoring in Europe, that goal to get us underway at Aberdeen helping with our first win in 7 years away from home[ the way the media were going on ] twisting defenders inside out and getting a ball into the box….

    Jota judged on the full season would probably be graded as a B+ with 90% of that mark coming from September until he went on sick leave in December 2021.

    Jota being graded from his first appearance back around late January to Sunday the 17th April 2022 would be a C at best.
    Played well in the 3-0 Derby, he put in two great crosses resulting in goals against Dundee and someone else and scored the winner at Pittodrie[ another season defining result ]….that’s about it.

    Not-too-pricey Wingers are available from every Club, every Summer, solid CB’s not so much. One £6 million offer option? It’s got to be CCV.

    P.S I like Jota, and if he stayed I’d be happy but I would worry about recurring bouts of mediocrity that we can do without as we have some players filling that role for us just now.

  • Martin Cawley says:

    Vickers 100% jota let us down big time
    on Sunday. Not a team player then. First
    15 mins he could have passed to Maeda
    But went for glory.

  • Jimmy says:

    Huge few weeks ahead for the team but also the same for Jota if he wants a deal. Poor on Sunday when we needed a spark. 6 million, for me I am undecided. We need consistency which he has lacked over various points of the season.
    CCV deal surely must be done. My only concern is if a team comes in that are able to offer much more wages than that we can offer.

  • Stephney Taylor says:

    You are spot on James Forrest.
    CCC is the priority.
    Jota can be replaced should he care to leave.
    That is Ange’s way. If a player wants out, let him go.
    I respect and trust Ange.

  • Louise Lang says:

    I too do not believe that we are certain to sign Jota.I think at times he has flattered to deceive.He had undoubtedly got talent but for me isn’t consistent enough.He still has a lot to prove.

  • Jim says:

    Jota has guts and skill. He sunk without trace last week but so did all of them in front of the back line.

    He is an excellent crosser of a ball and I was hoping to see a nexus forming with Jota’s crosses playing in GG with Maeda or Abada floating in from the wings, but it hasn’t really happened much yet.

    However Jota is definitely the best winger we have. Although I love Maeda’s attitude, I’m not sure exactly what he brings, other than a lot of running about. He doesn’t look like a player who can consistently deliver quality ball into the box, or a player who has anything like Kyogo’s touch and instincts in the penalty area. Abada is a better instinctive finisher but again not really a ball-playing winger. Forrest, I would suggest, is done.

    For me that means we should hang on to Jota if he wants to stay, unless an absolute peach becomes available. Jota can be developed, the potential and attitude is there.

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