Brentford's Jota even scored a hat-trick against Rotherham United
Every composed finish or sublime assist Jota produced for Brentford in the second half of last season must have felt like a dagger in the hearts of Rangers supporters.
Because, according to the Daily Record, manager Mark Warburton was so desperate to reunite with a player he signed for just £1.3 million from Celta Vigo that he flew out to Spain to discuss a deal while Jota was coming to the end of a loan spell at La Liga high-fliers Eibar.
Five months later, however, Jota’s remarkable form since returning to Brentford has caught the eye of a number of Premier League teams. Sky Sports claim that Newcastle United are challenging West Ham and Everton for a player now rated at £8 million and The Bees will only let him leave for a top flight club.
And the silky Spaniard appears to be everything Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is looking for. Scoring a scarcely believable 12 goals in 19 starts in Brentford colours from January until May, the 25-year-old appears to be the intelligent goalscoring midfielder Benitez has been tracking for a number of months.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez
In Newcastle’s 2016/17 squad, only Dwight Gayle scored more goals than Jota in the second tier – and he had the added advantages of being a striker and not spending the first half of the season playing abroad.
Yet, Jota has never played a single minute in the Premier League. And with Newcastle needing to upgrade their squad in preparation for the top flight, doubts remain about whether Jota could make the grade.
Though if Newcastle supporters don’t want him, Rangers fans would happily take him off their hands…
Jota is very good. Don't dismiss him just because he plays for Brentford. Remember when Vardy transferred from Fleetwood #nufc— #24 (@Cameron_NUFC) June 13, 2017
Jota is a joke of a player. Can't stand him— #24 (@lee_davies86) June 13, 2017
Give me Jota everyday of the week! £8 million!? That's a steal. Quality player. Just as good if not better than Cairney #NUFC— Hello, I am Nicky (@ORANGEYPURPLE) June 13, 2017
Jota is a good quality player. Not unhappy with him. #NUFC— Bobby Norris (@wonderbonzi) June 13, 2017
Wow. How undewhelming— David Field (@DavidFi96207518) June 13, 2017
Let's be honest he is quality but it'll never happen— The Wolf Of Wigan (@TheWolfOfWigan) June 13, 2017
Yes, baller— Lee McDonald (@MIST3RMAC) June 13, 2017