Having joined Celtic on a season-long loan deal this summer, Jota has quickly established himself as a fan favourite at Parkhead.
Indeed, the 21-year-old has left the Celtic Park faithful stunned on more than one occasion over the course of his six Scottish Premiership fixtures so far this season, having already bagged two goals, provided two assists and averaged a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.42 – ranking him as Ange Postecoglou’s fifth-best performer in the league.
The Benfica loanee has also done the business in Europe, registering two assists and creating four big chances in his three Europa League appearances, returns which have seen the £3.15m-rated man average a SofaScore match rating of 7.63.
As such, the Portugal U21 international would not appear to be too far away from being undroppable at present, however, that is exactly what Postecoglou must do when he side visits Hibernian on Wednesday evening.
There are a couple of reasons for this standpoint, the first of which is the fact that Jota is probably deserving of a rest after starting all ten of the fixtures he has been available for – especially when considering the winger has been substituted just once in this ten-game period, with four minutes to go in the 2-0 win over St. Johnstone last time out.
The second, and perhaps more important, is so Postecoglou can afford to hand Mikey Johnston his first start of the club’s 2021/22 campaign, with the winger in rather desperate need of game time in order to regain match fitness after recovering from his hamstring tear suffered in pre-season.
Indeed, the 22-year-old looked incredibly lively when brought on against Ferencvarosi last week and undoubtedly possesses the potential to become yet another exciting option for the 56-year-old Hoops manager to call upon in his Celtic attack this season.
However, unless Jota is dropped at some point in the near future, Johnston’s return will be severely hindered, leading us to believe that Postecoglou simply must sacrifice the player who he himself dubbed an “outstanding” talent for the greater good of his side this Wednesday.