Scottish Premiership champions Celtic have been urged to launch a January move to re-sign Portuguese winger Jota from Al-Ittihad on a temporary deal.
The 24-year-old joined the flurry of Europe-based stars flocking to the Saudi Pro League during the summer, completing a £25 million deal to switch Glasgow for the Middle East.
Coaxed by the mouth-watering contract proposal on offer, Jota jumped on the Saudi Pro League bandwagon, but it hasn’t gone according to plan for the heavily talented forward.
Despite being touted as one of the finest talents in the Scottish Premiership and Europe at the time of his departure, Jota has not been registered in Al-Ittihad’s squad due to the division’s foreign player rule.
Since arriving at the Gulf State, the former Portugal under-21 international forward has played just 133 minutes in official matches, contributing one goal.
His current predicament has sparked conversations of a premature departure from the Saudi title holders, and Rangers hero Barry Ferguson believes Celtic would be ‘crazy’ not to re-sign him in January.
“He’s a wasted talent and there’s no doubt he’ll be kicking himself with the decision,” Ferguson said (via Football Scotland).
“You can’t knock him for going – Celtic got £25million and his wages will be scary, so I’m not knocking.
“It’s not worked out, and Celtic would be crazy not to look at getting him back. He was a hero here, they got him on loan, and he impressed.
“That’s another really good bit of business to spend £6million and get an £18million profit. He’s a player I call a difference maker – in the final third he can win a game.”
Before his departure to Saudi Arabia, Jota contributed to Celtic’s treble-winning campaign with 15 goals and 12 assists in 43 appearances across all competitions.
Although the Hoops have got their title defence off to a flyer, winning five of their opening six league games, re-signing Jota would be a major coup for the defending champions.
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