Everton have been in touch with Benfica and enquired about Portuguese winger Joao Filipe popularly known as Jota. However, West Ham United and Valencia are also in the chase.
After the triple midfield signings, Everton have shifted their focus to the attack department and are in the hunt for a wide right player. More glamorous names such as Wilfried Zaha and Hirving Lozano have made headlines but there remains another player who hasn’t hit the headlines, Joao Filipe or Jota. The Benfica winger is also being linked to West Ham United and Valencia.
According to Portuguese outlet Record (via Sport Witness), Everton and West Ham United are battling to sign starlet Joao Filipe. The Premier League sides have been in touch with the Liga NOS giants and have asked about the conditions to facilitate a deal.
Jota graduated from Benfica youth academy and has quickly risen through the ranks at O Glorioso. The 21 year had a breakthrough campaign in 2018-19 with Benfica B that saw him score 8 goals and provide 8 assists. His monumental rise saw him gain first team minutes last season playing a total of 19 Liga NOS games.
The Portuguese starlet’s rise hasn’t gone unnoticed. For many years the league of Portugal has been a happy hunting ground for European big fish. Most recently, Joao Felix moved to Atletico Madrid for a record fee of €126 million. There have been other youngsters who have been picked up from Portugal and have made a big name for themselves in the footballing world.
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Jota could soon join that list of players. The reports stated that the 21 year old was close to moving to Valencia on loan but the talks have come to a possible standstill. West Ham United and Everton are looking to make the most of the opportunity and sign Jota either permanently or on a loan.
Benfica would not come in the way of a temporary or a permanent move with manager Jorge Jesus ready to cash on him as he is ‘well rated’ in the transfer market. The temptation to play in the Premier League reigns supreme for youngsters like Jota, he is likely to join an English Top Flight team than move to Valencia.
West Ham United sold Grady Diangana to West Brom and have received a lot of backlash from the Hammers faithful and their captain Mark Noble himself. David Moyes is keen to bolster his options at the wing and is eyeing a move for Jota. Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti also finds himself in a similar position and the availability of the exciting Portuguese has turned his head as well.
Let’s be realistic, even if Everton manage to sign Jota, he is a work in progress and won’t instantly be a first team regular. If the Toffees are really impressed by Jota and want to bring him to Goodison Park, a loan move with an option to buy is a more logical option.
Examine him for a season and check whether he is worth the hype and if he exceeds the expectations, Everton can acquire Jota permanently from Benfica or else it’s Ciao.