Jota (pronounced ‘hotta’ ‘jo-ta’ ‘jotta’ or who knows?) has decided he’d rather ply his trade under old ‘Arry at Birmingham has he? Well for that I’m glad. Just so I don’t have to pronounce his name in a variety of ways, only to be corrected each time.
But seriously though, from apparently wanting to stay in London for “family reasons”, he’s now seemingly forgot said reasons and opted for the Brummie revolution under Deadline Day’s favourite son, Harry Redknapp.
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) August 31, 2017
Fulham appeared to have a deal sewn up, fee agreed, the whole nine yards, but then wily old fox ‘Arry swoops in, taking the Spaniard from under the Cottagers’ noses.
Where he’s found £6m odd I’ll never know? They were pleading poverty not so long back when the bartering was in full swing for Stewart Downing.
His move to the Second City probably means that any plans on Downing following suit have most likely been knocked on the head.
His inclusion in recent Boro squads has also indicated that he might be in for some kind of remarkable turnaround of fortunes with his boyhood team. Time will tell on that one.
Risk too big to take?
Anyway, an apparent bid was made last week of around £4.5m for the 26-yr-old Jota, rejected immediately it would seem by his club, Brentford. Boro would appear to have left it at that, refusing to raise the price on a player whose contract runs out at the end of the season.
You could argue that Steve Gibson would be able to afford to throw more money at The Bees, but he’s obviously felt the deal wasn’t worth it, especially if the player himself made clear his plans to stay in the Capital.
His move to Birmingham kind of makes a mockery of those plans, yet could be a good indication of the players’ personality – skittish perhaps?
Maybe The Blues offered him more money than Fulham? Whatever his reasons, it’s clear that he didn’t want to make the move to Teesside, so why should Monk, Gibson & Bausor go all out to make it happen, only to get their fingers burnt? What if he signed and ended up being a liability? What if he said he wanted to sign, only to let us down with hours left in the Transfer Window? It was obviously a risk they didn’t want to take.
For all the fan outrage that Middlesbrough refused to budge on the fee etc, what seems to have got lost in all this is that we already have the answers to our No.10 problems in the squad.
Lewis Baker has already shown signs that he’s that man. His performances, whilst not quite blowing anyone away yet, have been good.
Aside from that, his record speaks for itself. His ability to assist and get on the scoresheet is there for all to see, plus his versatility too. He’s the ideal candidate to float in behind whatever strike partnership we opt for. The fanfare when he signed soon seems to have been forgotten as fans found themselves getting loved up over the idea of Jota arriving.
Let’s not forget, Jota’s regular position had tended to be out wide, so would he really have offered us that link in behind the strikers?
Another guy who appears to have been rather forgotten, ridiculously too, is Martin Braithwaite.
— Martin Braithwaite (@MartinBraith) August 6, 2017
Only signed in the summer, once again heralded by the fans, has been out with injury since the second week of the season, his only appearance being in the opening day defeat at Wolves. However, his ability to float across the front, and support behind the strikers, has seemingly been forgotten by some. He adds another option ‘in the hole’, so along with what we already have where would Jota fit in?
Patrick Bamford has shown some exciting glimpses of what he can offer in the withdrawn role in a front three, wouldn’t he be classed as a viable option too?
Dare I float the idea of Downing as an option? Ok, I said it, too late. I’ll have my hard hat at the ready. But there’s no arguing, he’s another candidate, even if it’s coming off the bench.
Adama Traore looks to be staying, barring any late moves tonight, so out wide we have options as well. Marcus Tavernier is on the cusp of a first team breakthrough on a more regular basis also, looking promising after pre-season, U23 and his first team debut performances – he could soon be making the squad more often than not.
Mikael Sisoilo, the young flying Finn, looked impressive during pre-season, involved heavily in the friendly games. It’s clear Monk likes the player so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could be appearing in the first team soon too.
We also announced today the signing of Marvin Johnson from Oxford United. His position? Winger.
READ MORE: The view from Oxford
He may have an unknown quantity feel about him, but he looks like he could offer a lot in the attacking third, his pace and ability to provide, as well notch a few, will come in handy throughout the season. If he can make the step up then he adds to what looks to be a well-stocked, attack minded, group of players.
Any mocking of that signing is pretty unfair. We all know my views on writing a player off before having the chance to shine.
For those who once Big Ben chimes (or doesn’t – will they switch it on for this special occasion?) at 11pm tonight, lamenting our failure to bring Jota in, why don’t you have a look at what we’ve already got?
It’s always easy to look elsewhere, hankering after this player and that, but what about the players already within the squad? Instead of focusing your attentions on who doesn’t want to pull on the Club’s jersey, how about backing the ones that already do?
What are your thoughts Boro fans? Let us know!