It’s always great to see the madness over the coming transfer window ramping up, and it is certainly ramping up now.
I covered Shankland last week because it was the story of the moment, after he’d bagged a goal against Georgia and it seemed to be all anyone was talking about. But the Jota story is the real imagination grabber for obvious reasons.
The question comes up; what would he look like in this evolution of the team? How would he get on alongside Palma?
We’ve seen him alongside Maeda and Abada, and we know what he can do, but this is a Rodgers team and having him out wide would allow Palma to play as a traditional number 10 and I think he would excel in that role.
So the idea is nice, and it nags at us because it’s nice.
It’s also doable, or you’d think so anyway. The Saudis are probably not going to ask for a major wage contribution from anyone, as they can easily afford it and they are better off if he’s out playing than if he’s sitting on the bench somewhere. As they signed him from Celtic, they also know that he’s going to continually improve if they send him back to us for a while whilst they sort themselves out.
But that’s where the first downside comes in.
They’ve sacked the manager who signed, and then dropped, Jota. So maybe they are sorting themselves out right now, and if so, perhaps he’s got a future there after all. The move has been a disaster for him so far, but it might not remain one.
Secondly, we’re overloaded with wingers and spending whatever it would take to get him here, even on loan, doesn’t seem like the best use of our resources.
On top of that, I’d prefer to see us develop Yang or fully integrate a fit and raring-to-go Liel Abada into Rodgers’ team. I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll be a huge hit when he’s back in the side and that he’ll provide us with an ever-sharper cutting edge.
Once he and Maeda are fit the competition will be fierce, and by the time the window opens we’ll be fairly close to having them both back.
There are areas of this team which need attention and now that Palma and Yang have shown up for business and proven their worth, this is no longer one of them. We need a keeper and a left back and a ball winning hard midfielder … and a striker.
All European, all of whom will be available when a significant number of our players are away in Asia.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Jota.
I loved him the way I loved Giakoumakis and, yeah, even Ange himself, and whilst we’ve gone and gotten a manager who has been here before I have never questioned that decision because he was the very best man available for us … but this would be looking back rather than forward.