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Brentford attacker Jota seems to be a wanted man in the Premier League. The 25-year old has been excellent in the past six months with the Bees in the EFL Championship and his performances have attracted interest from top division clubs Burnley and Swansea City.
The Spanish winger has been one of the star players in the second half of the season for Brentford, having spent the first half away on loan at Spanish club Eibar. Since his return in January, Jota has gone onto score 12 goals and set up 5 from just 21 Championship games and his performances seem to have caught notice of the Premier League sides as per reports from GetWestLondon.
So, who exactly is Jota? What will he bring to the table? Will he be a Brentford player come next season? Let’s find out.
Jose Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo or Jota was born in the province of Coruna in Spain, in the year 1991. He joined up with the youth academy of Celta Vigo at the age of 13 years. Having come through the ranks with the Galician academy, he made his senior debut in January 2011 as a 19-year old in the Segunda Division. He went on to make three more appearances that season. The subsequent season saw him make just one appearance for the senior team as Celta achieved promotion to the La Liga.
With the promotion, Jota was pushed further down the pecking order in the 2012-13 season and as a result, he moved temporarily to Real Madrid Castilla side where he spent most of his time warming the benches. Next season saw him join Segunda division club Eibar, again on loan, which is where he really prospered.
In 35 appearances for his new side, Jota managed to net 11 goals and set up 3 goals. The Spaniard played a huge hand in Eibar earning a promotion to the La Liga for the first time in the club’s history. In light of his brilliant performances, Jota was nominated for the Best Attacking Midfielder Award at the 2014 LFP Awards and was named in the La Liga2 Team of the Year as well.
His displays seem to have caught the eye of then-Brentford manager Mark Warburton, who snapped him up on a three-year deal in the summer of 2014 soon after they were promoted to the EFL Championship. The Spaniard made an impressive start to life in England, finishing his debut campaign with 11 goals and 3 assists from 46 games across all competitions, helping the Bees to a playoff finish. However, an ankle ligament damage on the first day of the next season put the brakes to his growth with the Bees.
He returned from his injury in December, after undergoing a surgery, post which he signed a new contract with the club which allowed Brentford an option to his stay by a year till 2018. However, due to personal reasons, he returned to his homeland, rejoining Eibar on an 18-month loan. Things did not go as well like previous time at Eibar and he was recalled in December last year after making 19 appearances with just 2 assists to show for.
But upon his return to the Griffin Park, Jota has regained his touch and finished the season as the Bees’ third highest goalscorer, despite having played a fewer amount of games.
The 25-year old is someone who can play on either flank or through the middle as a No.10, while he has also demonstrated the ability of operating as an auxiliary forward in a 4-4-2 system. But he has been at his devastating best for Brentford while operating on the right flank.
A good dribbler of the ball, Jota possesses a decent turn of pace as well and has a penchant to cut inside from the flanks and take an aim at the goal, from which he scores more often than not. He is also a decent passer, but his crossing is something that can be improved. Another area where he can do better is the defensive contribution to the team’s cause as he doesn’t always show great desire to track back on his opponents.
Jota’s contract with the club was up in the summer, but according to reports from GetWestLondon, Brentford have decided to trigger a one-year extension option that existed in his deal to further his stay until the summer of 2018, to ward off interests from suitors.
However, a lure of Premier League football might prove to be a little too difficult for him to turn down. Burnley can do with someone of his quality in their attack. They don’t always ooze creativity and finesse while going forward. The fact that Jota has scored more goals this season than their top scorer Andre Gray should appeal to manager Sean Dyche, who signed Gray from the Bees two summers ago.
Swansea too can do with injecting some fresh blood into their attack, after having seen recent signings Luciano Narsingh and Jordan Ayew struggle to adapt. But any potential transfer may well hinge on whether they manage to survive the drop in the Premier League.
The player did reveal recently that he had other offers and will sit down and discuss his options with the club. He told the Brentford official website (as quoted by GetWestLondon):
“We’ve had an extension to my contract, Brentford have taken the option.
“Now I need to talk with my agent and Brentford because we have some offers and the option only extends it for a year.
“This year I was very happy but I need to talk with Brentford about what happens this summer.
All in all, Jota will turn out to be a decent addition to either of the clubs and if they do come calling, it is likely that he will be seen strutting his stuff out in the English top division next season.