Celtic lost 2-1 against the Rangers at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup semi-final. Naturally, there is expected to be a bit of an overreaction to the result. But ultimately, it is important to look at the bigger picture. The Hoops have won the Scottish League Cup already and barring a major collapse, should be able to win the Premiership title as well. That would be tremendous progress from where the club finished in the previous campaign.
Yes, it was a disappointing result but it can be written off as a bad day at the office. After all, the team had won the previous two Glasgow Derbies.
Whenever the team performs badly, questions are raised about a number of players – Tom Rogic, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Greg Taylor, Carl Starfelt and others. One player who has managed to mostly escape criticism though is Jota.
Since returning from the winter break, Jota has scored in only one game, a brace against Aberdeen. And he has not been nearly the player that he was in the first half of the campaign. Yet, somehow, it is rarely that questions are raised about the Portuguese winger.
Jota’s dip in form is a problem for Celtic
Jota plays regularly for Celtic and it is not hard to see why. He brings something very different to the table from anybody else. He is the kind of a player who has a moment of magic in his arsenal.
Players like that will have off days from time to time. Thus, the Scottish Cup semi-final performance against the Rangers is not a massive worry in isolation. The problem is though that we are not witnessing those moments of magic on a consistent basis since the turn of the year and the winger’s return from injury.
It is easy to understand why Celtic fans love Jota. He is the kind of player who will get you out of your seats and he was doing that on a consistent basis in the first half of the season. But it is time to call a spade a spade, and the fact of the matter is, Jota looks like a shell of the player who set the Premiership alight in the first half of the season.
The question is, would you shell out a transfer fee around £6.5 million to sign this version of Jota?
This article was originally posted here