Wolves' new signing: Who is Diogo Jota?
Following Wolves' signing of Diogo Jota on-loan, Nathan Judah spoke to Portuguese football analyst Alex Goncalves to get the low-down on the talented winger.
What type of player are Wolves getting in Diogo Jota?
In Diogo Jota, Wolves will be getting another real gem of a player. He’s a magnificent talent, and is incredibly versatile, able to play both on the wing and as an attacking midfielder or second striker.
He has exceptional dribbling skills, and is very good technically, having the capability to pick up a respectable number of both goals and assists.
It is quite stunning that Wolves managed to attract Diogo Jota and it can’t be overstated how much of a coup this is for them.
He has such a well-rounded game, being both creative and explosive while also being an excellent finisher.
He’s just really crafty with a magnificent footballing brain. A very exciting player to watch.
Will his game suit the Championship?
Absolutely, I see no reason why it wouldn’t.
He’s already displayed his capabilities in the Portuguese top flight for both Paços de Ferreira and Porto.
Some could argue that, while he’s not particularly small, his slight frame and build could prove problematic in a very physical league like the Championship.
However, Helder Costa hasn’t found that a problem and I don’t think Jota will either.
He is the sort of player who could play in any league and hold his own, because he just has that much ability.
At 20, is he first team ready?
Definitely, there’s no question about it.
His tender age is somewhat deceptive because we have to remember this is a player with a wealth of experience at a very high level, featuring in 27 of Porto’s 34 league matches last year, as well as playing a part in every single one of their eight Champions League matches. Every single one.
So he has both played and performed, regularly, at a very high standard.
If we go even further back, Jota was also crucial in helping Paços de Ferreira to an impressive 7th place finish in the Portuguese Primeira Liga a couple of seasons ago, bagging 12 goals and 7 assists in the process.
He was hugely influential for them, and will be for Wolves as well.
What role did he have under Nuno?
Nuno utilised him regularly throughout the season, albeit fairly often from the bench.
However, it proved to be a positive campaign for Jota in what was probably a slightly underwhelming one for Porto as a team, again missing out on a trophy.
Deployed in a variety of different roles - as a second striker, on the wing or in central attacking midfield – his versatility was clearly on show last season.
And with Jota getting the opportunity to showcase his ability on a regular basis last campaign, it is no wonder he’s open to the prospect of linking up with his former manager once again, a man who showed such confidence in him last year.
Is he a good source of goals and assists?
Absolutely. His goal-scoring ability is excellent, and comes in great variety.
Because of his silky dribbling, explosiveness and great movement, he can run at defenders and cause a real nuisance, able to then score from tight angles and the edge of the box with great regularity.
He also makes great runs off the last line of defence, able to get into one-on-one situations as a result, often going on to then find the back of the net with either a delicately placed or chipped shot.
This is then combined with his positional awareness, allowing him to additionally score many simple tap-ins by acting as a poacher in the box.
And despite not being the tallest, he’s also proven his capability to score a handful of goals with his head.
This ability to find the back of the net, combined with his own impressive vision and passing capability, makes him such a well-rounded attacking player who defenders will find a real handful.
If Diogo Jota isn’t a player to get you excited, I don’t know who is!
Wolves have a permanent option at the end of the season? Could this be a masterstroke?
If Wolves bring Diogo Jota in on a permanent deal, I’d claim that it would trump the Neves deal, I really would.
I said when Wolves brought Neves in it would be the signing of the season, but this would beat it.
This isn’t just one of Portugal’s biggest prospects for the future, but he is already, at the age of twenty, a proven, sensational player.
He played regularly for Porto, one of the top teams in Europe, on a regular basis.
And now Wolves have him, potentially on a full transfer. It’s incredible.
Has he got any weaknesses?
Weaknesses… tough to pick out, with any confidence, any real weaknesses to his game.
He’s very well-rounded, even at his youthful age.
I guess his lack of physicality can be thought of as his main weakness, but despite his smaller build he’s still managed to bag a few headed goals in his career, so it doesn’t seem to be holding him back at all!
Whether he will be able to adapt to life in a perhaps more physical league like the championship is the one minor concern I could express regarding Jota to Wolves. I don’t really expect it to be a problem though.
Will having a lot of Portuguese players help him adapt?
I definitely think so.
He’ll be linking up with so many compatriots that will really help him fit in and feel at home immediately.
In fact, there appears to be a real ‘little Portugal’ developing at Wolves right now, it’s great!
Particularly having the likes of Ruben Neves and Nuno Espirito Santo there, who he would have spent last season with, will be a huge help, and probably a major factor in his willingness or even desire to move to the club.
Is he a full Portugal international in the future?
I really do expect him to be, although it will be tough for him.
Not because he lacks the ability to be in Portugal’s main team, far from it, but because Portugal have a lot of young stars coming through and bursting onto the scene.
With attacking players like Gelson Martins, Bernardo Silva, Bruma, Gonçalo Guedes, Iuri Medeiros, Joao Felix, Joao Filipe and Daniel Podence - just to name a few - also going to be competing with Diogo Jota in the future, it won’t be easy for anyone to get the chance to play for Portugal.
But yes, I fully expect him to be in and around the Portugal squad eventually. He is yet to make his debut for the Portugal senior team, but that’s more down to Portugal’s incredible strength in depth in the attacking positions than anything else.
Want to know more? You can follow Alex on Twitter by following him at @Aljeeves10