The former Hoops hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admits he has been shocked by the attacker’s form.
Jota, 22, has made 11 appearances for Celtic since joining on loan from Benfica in the summer.
The attacker won much praise for his long-range pass to Kyogo Furuhashi in 19 October’s win over Ferencvaros.
He also assisted Furuhashi in Celtic’s 3-1 win over Hibernian on Wednesday night.
McAvennie claims Jota reminds him of Nicholas, who scored 125 goals during his Parkhead career.
“He’s just wonderful,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.
“He looks like the next Charlie Nicholas and not just because of the hair.
“I’ve been shocked by the ability he has, he’s doing very well for us.
“The pass he picked out for Kyogo against Ferencvaros sums it up for me.
“I was in the stands telling him to play it, what a pass, incredible. What a headache Postecoglou has now.
“He only plays one striker and he has two top-class forwards to choose from.
“Then there are the other strikers who aren’t getting a game. I would expect Jota to get the nod over the rest of the guys though.
“People will say he’s only on loan but he won’t be on loan for long if he carries on.
“Kyogo sitting just ahead of Jota could be a deadly combination for Celtic.”
Celtic are next in action against Livingston on Saturday.
The Hoops are second in the league and two points behind Rangers after their win over Hibs.
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