The signing of Joao Pedro Neves Felipe, or ‘Jota’ as he is commonly referred to, on a season-long loan deal from Portuguese giants Benfica flew under the radar a bit.
However, following an unusually busy summer of transfer activity at Parkhead, the talented winger could prove to be somewhat of a coup for Celtic.
The Hoops have the option of making the deal permanent next summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £6.4m.
A product of one of the most prestigious youth academies in world football, Jota has been a prolific presence at a variety of age groups for his country and could well become a fans favourite, providing he can make an instant impact.
Aged just 22, Jota will aim to impress manager Ange Postecoglou in the Scottish Premiership and in Europe but will face stiff competition to break into the side with Israeli Liel Abada and James Forrest also vying for a place in the starting XI.
Rated one of the brightest prospects in Europe as he rose up through the youth ranks at Benfica, his style of play is sure to suit the fast, attacking brand of football Postecoglou‘s team has adopted this season.
Arguably the player is still to find his feet in senior football having featured just 34 times for Benfica’s first team since February 2019.
His best campaign to date came with the Eagles ‘B’ team in 2018/19 where he scored eight goals and contributed eight assists 20 appearances in Portugal’s second tier.
He may have struggled to set the heather alight, but Jota is described as a brilliant dribbler of the ball with electric pace and always ready to take his man on
Of all the transfer deals the Hoops completed this summer, former striker turned pundit Chris Sutton appeared most excited by the signing of the Portuguese U-21 international.
In his Daily Record column last week, Sutton said: “Jota is a fascinating one. This is a lad who was tipped for great things at Benfica but seems to have lost his way a bit. If Postecoglou can get him playing like he’s done for others then it’s an exciting prospect.”
He might not be the finished article but featuring regularly in a system that looks tailormade for him, Jota has the potential to take his game to a new level.
Reports in Portugal suggest he may not be part of the managers plans at Benfica moving forward after spending time on loan to Real Valladolid in Spain last season.
The clause inserted in his contract will benefit Postecoglou and his backroom staff as they have a full season to assess the player and decide whether to exercise their option to buy.
We’ve gathered all the information you could ever wish to know on Celtic’s exciting new winger below...
Where was Filipe Jota born?
Jota was born on March 30th 1999 in Lisbon, the capital and largest city in Portugal.
With an estimated population of 544,851, Lisbon is Europe’s westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast.
Who did Filipe Jota play for before joining Celtic?
Jota started his youth career with Benfica in 2007 before making his first-team debut in a 3-0 away win over Sertanese in the third round of the Taca de Portugal in October 2018 – the country’s premier knockout competition.
He helped Benfica’s youth team reach the final of the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League, defeating FC Midtjylland, PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid in the process.
Jota was promoted to Benfica’s first team pool in February 2019, making his league debut in a comfortable 4-0 home win over Chaves.
The following month, he made his Europa League debut during the knockout phase in a 3-0 extra-time victory over Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb.
The 22-year-old was then loaned out to La Liga side Real Valladolid last season in search of more regular first team action, netting two goals in 18 appearances during his time in Spain.
Has Filipe Jota played for Portugal?
The Portuguese trickster has represented his country at various youth levels from Under-15s to Under-21s but as of yet is still to make his senior debut. He has 18 Portugal Under-21 caps.
He has already tasted success on the international stage, winning the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in 2016, beating Spain 5-4 on penalties.
After finishing runners-up the following year, Jota celebrated yet another European Championship title success in 2018 as he played a starring role for the Under-19 squad as they edged out Italy 4-3 in extra-time.
He finished the tournament as joint top scorer with five goals and also featured in the Team of the Tournament.
According to the Telegraph, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Bayern Munich were all keeping tabs on his contract situation at the time.
Is Filipe Jota on Instagram and Twitter?
The 22-year-old isn’t active on social media. He does not use Twitter and his handle on Instagram has been deleted.
What did Filipe Jota have to say after completing his move to Celtic?
“I am very happy to join such an historic club like Celtic and I can’t wait to play at Paradise in front of such an amazing atmosphere. I’m motivated to show the supporters what I can do and I want to give them a lot of joy. I will work hard to put a smile on their faces and enjoy some good times together.
“Having played in Portugal and Spain, everyone knows that Celtic is a huge name across Europe. It will be a pleasure and an honour to fight for this club.
“I can play as a left-winger, right-winger or as a number ten behind the striker. Wherever the manager wants me to play, I will be ready for the challenge. I prefer playing on the left-side but if I’m asked to play in another position that’s okay with me.
“I’ve watched some games online and I know the manager likes to play some very dynamic football, which I really like. Every player knows what their role is and it’s a very aggressive style of football that’s suits me. I can’t wait to play my part in this.”