Most of us have heard the news now that Jota has returned to Benfica for treatment on his hamstring injury.
It would be interesting to find out why this has happened. I know this sometimes happens with players on loan, they return to their parent club for treatment, but normally this is for more long term injuries, like 6 months. Have Benfica asked for the player to return? Have Celtic asked Benfica to deal with it? Was it up the player? Was this sort of scenario already pre-arranged in the deal? It would be good to have an answer to this.
What concerns me though is he will have friends at Benfica. They will be in his ear, asking him to come back. And why wouldn’t they? They have just appointed a new manager who has worked with Jota in the Benfica reserve team, so he already has a relationship with the new manager. Will he be in his ear too? Of course he will.
We have already seen that their fans are unhappy with the club for letting him go with a very modest option to buy clause inserted, in comparison to his talents and the form he has shown so far with us. If the Benfica board can try to twist his arm to get the fans back onside, they will do it.
The other concern is players love to prove a point. We’ve seen it with Celtic, guys like Fraser Forster wanting to return to Southampton to prove he can be No.1 there, we’ve seen it with Patrick Roberts, determined to go back to Man City to prove he can make the grade there. I have concerns that he will want to go back to his boyhood club and prove that he can do the business there.
We just have to hope Jota realises what Celtic have done for him, how the fans have treated him and how happy he is at Celtic. He has said himself these past 6 months have been the best of his career.
All we can do is hope that he wants to continue this magical time he is having at Celtic for a few more years to come.