Premier League teams are suddenly queuing up to sign Brentford’s Jota, with Newcastle United at the head of the line.
The former Celta Vigo man, 25, scored 12 goals and created 5 assists to the cause last campaign, meaning he was involved in a goal every 100 minutes for the mid-table Londoners. That’s an enviable record and one that will be hard to directly replace. However, there are certainly options out there.
19 of the Spaniard’s appearances last season were on the right, using his left foot to good effect when cutting inside in the style of a typical modern winger. Here are two similar players who could replace Jota at Griffin Park.
Marcus Maddison (Peterborough United)
Having gained his education with Newcastle United’s under-18’s, Marcus Maddison went down the leagues to nearby Gateshead to get experience and the winger quickly gained a good reputation.
A chance was taken on him in league football by Peterborough back in 2014 and he has not let them down. Some cool finishes from tight angles, expert free kicks and mazy runs mark him out as a player who seems to be above League One.
Brentford should bring him to the Championship now and his fee would certainly be within their reach. 9 goals and an impressive 17 assists came his way last campaign in League One, with the winger contributing a goal every 126 minutes in the league.
Luke Freeman (Queens Park Rangers)
One of QPR’s top players, Luke Freeman is left-footed and can play right across the attack. A standout performer at Loftus Road last season, the 25-year-old may be available for a move over the summer, with things not looking too positive.
Moving to his club neighborhood would mean no logistical problems for the player of his family, and there is little doubt about the Bees affording him, especially with the money made from Jota’s sale being available. Across times with QPR and Bristol City last season, Freeman managed to score 4 goals and created 4 assists, with his involvement in a goal coming once in every 295 minutes. It doesn’t stand up to his numbers of course, but there will be improvement next season.
He has a real future in the game at this level. While Freeman would not be record signing, he would be a solid one and a player of great value.