Full name: Jose Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo
Position: Attacking midfielder
Previous clubs: Celta Vigo B, Celta Vigo, Real Madrid B, Eibar.
A product of the Celta Vigo youth system, Jota has become a fans’ favourite at Brentford. The Spaniard signed for the Bees 3 years ago, in the summer of 2014. His love affair in West London though may soon be ending. A host of Premier League clubs including Everton, West Ham and Newcastle are all believed to be interested in Jota, leaving Brentford in a difficult position.
The player is about to enter the last year of his contract and reports suggest that he would be available for a fee of around £8m.
Despite a mutual love between fans and Jota himself at Brentford, he is desperate to play in the top flight. However, Brentford are prepared to let his contract run down if no Premier League club can match their valuation.
Career to date:
Jota started his career with Galician club, Celta Vigo. He managed to make 68 appearances for the side’s B-team, scoring 22 goals. Although, he failed to make the grade for the first-team. Only featuring 5 times.
When Celta won promotion back to La Liga, Jota fell down the pecking order. In the 2012/13 season, he joined Real Madrid Castilla (B-team) on loan for the season. Spanish B-teams are almost like clubs in themselves, competing in the professional leagues. Unfortunately, Jota’s quest for game time didn’t go as planned in Madrid, only making 3 appearances that whole campaign.
His fortune changed when he signed for Segunda Division side Eibar on loan for the 2013/14 season. The attacking midfielder finally received considerable game time, making 37 appearances that season as Eibar won promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history. Jota scoring the winning goal against Deportivo Alaves in a 1-0 win, to confirm their historic promotion.
He scored 11 goals, earning a place in the division’s team of the year. Such form attracted interest from England and that would be his next port of call.
In the summer of 2014, Jota signed for Championship club Brentford on a three-year deal. His impact was almost immediate, scoring his first goal against Leeds United in his 7th appearance for the side. Another came the following weekend, in Brentford’s 3-1 win over Reading.
In November of that year, he continued to impress – scoring 4 goals in 4 games. One of those strikes would become the highlight of his career to date. With the scores locked at 1-1 in a West London derby against Fulham, Jota struck in injury time to send the home fans into delirium and seal a momentous win for the Bees over their rivals. To this day, Brentford fans still sing “Jota in the last minute”, referring to that goal. It was also awarded the Bees Player Outstanding Moment of the Season accolade.
Jota made a career-high 46 appearances that term, scoring 11 goals. He was nominated in FourFourTwo magazine’s top 40 Football League players of the season.
Brentford made the playoffs in their first season back in the Championship, under manager Mark Warburton, playing an exhilarating brand of football. Jota was one of the stars of that Championship season.
However, after Warburton’s departure that summer, Jota struggled to recapture the spark of the previous campaign. He suffered damaged ankle ligaments in a tackle by former Brentford teammate Jonathan Douglas, meaning he needed surgery. He made just 5 appearances for the Bees before re-joining Eibar on an 18-month loan deal.
Jota struggled to make the same impact as during his first spell at the club, who were now a La Liga outfit. Brentford recalled him on 31st December 2016, after receiving international clearance. Back in West London, he found his feet again. 12 goals in just 23 appearances, ensured that he finished the season as the club’s third top scorer. It also led to an interest being shown from a handful of Premier League teams.
Jota’s class stood out immediately when he first signed for Brentford. Unlike many Spanish players, he flourished in the English Football League.
The way he can glide with the ball is superb. The 25-year old likes to cut inside when dribbling, but can also burn defenders down the wing or by-line. His close ball control is undoubtedly one of his main strengths.
The Brentford man also has an eye for goal. His finish to this season’s campaign was probably the most prolific goalscoring spell of his career – with 12 goals in 23 appearances since returning to West London in December.
Jota has the vision, skill and goal scoring ability to be a success in any league.
However, if there is any part of his game which may cause concern for Premier League suitors, then it is his fitness. When he first signed for Brentford, he admitted to only being able to perform at 60-70% of his usual levels due to the pace of the Championship. The Premier League is faster, so this plus his slender physique may be a worry.