Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Celtic Ready To Rope In The Attacker On Permanent Terms In January: Right Call From Postecoglou?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from Portuguese outlet A Bola (as quoted by the Daily Record) is believed to be true, Celtic are assessing the option of making Filipe Jota’s loan move permanent from Benfica. The youngster has a £6.5m buyout clause in his contract and the Hoops are ready to splash the clash as early as the January transfer window.

Celtic were forced to script a squad overhaul back in the summer after losing an array of key personnel. Few of them have been exquisite so far this campaign and Jota, along with Kyogo Furuhashi, have stood out from the rest. The egress of Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie did not make much of a difference, thanks to the pair’s magnificent display high up the pitch.

The 22-year-old winger was a deadline day recruit after failing to stake a claim in Jorge Jesus’ plan. Although his loan move last season with Real Valladolid did not work out, the Celts gambled on the youngster for the immense potential he holds as exhibited for Portugual in various youth ranks.

Celtic attacker Filipe Jota celebrates his goal
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 23: Jota of Celtic celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Premier Sports Cup Quarter-Final match between Celtic FC and Raith Rovers at Celtic Park on September 23, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Why Celtic Must Secure His Services

Jota has fired in 4 goals and laid on 5 more in 13 appearances across competitions [stats via Transfermarket]. He took little time to settle in and attune to the attacking brand of Scottish football. He is equally effective from either flank but has mostly operated from the left. His crosses, cut insides and swift footwork have added more flexibility in Celtic’s game. Being both-footed, the Portuguese prodigy is not only capable of playing the traditional crossing game but also as an inverted wing-forward who opens up space with his movements down the wide.

Ange Postecoglou struggled initially since taking charge of the Glasgow giants. However, his style of play is finally making a difference and the players, too, are enjoying the run at this moment. They initiate the pressing game deep down the pitch but accelerate spontaneously once the possession is regained. The slick passing moves disorganize the opponents’ shape and a player of Jota’s profile fits in quite efficiently for his creative spark and intelligence.

Having said that, the Scottish sides are not blessed to spend millions on a player due to financial constraints. They often opt for the sell-to-buy model to maintain stability and it is to be seen now whether they have generated enough funds from key exits in 2021. The likes of Jeremie Frimpong, Kristoffer Ajer and Edouard have been sold for hefty figures and a portion of it should be reinvested to rope in Jota on permanent terms.

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