By Alan Hutton

4th Sep, 2021 | 12:00pm

Hutton makes '£7m' Jota claim after Celtic 'hammer blow'

Alan Hutton has claimed potential “£7million” signing Joao Filipe Jota could help Celtic get over the “hammer blow” of losing Ryan Christie.

The former Rangers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested fitness problems for James Forrest and Mikey Johnston meant signing a winger was a priority for the Bhoys.

Celtic confirmed the loan signing of Jota from Benfica on the evening of transfer deadline day (August 31).

The Portuguese winger has taken Christie’s place in the squad after he joined Bournemouth.

Football Insider revealed on Monday (August 30th) that Celtic have the option to make Jota’s move permanent for £6.5million.

Hutton expressed his excitement about the capture of the highly-rated winger.

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“I’ve done my research and he looks very direct,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.

“He wants to take people on and make things happen.

“He’ll be a replacement for Christie, and he seems an exciting, young player with a lot of talent.

“This is a good move for Celtic because you can have him at the club for a season and get a right good look at him.

“Then you can decide if you want to spend the £6-7million.

“They are light in wide areas, with Johnston and Forrest both struggling with injuries so they need to be able to create from wide.

“Losing Christie is a hammer blow, and Kyogo is much better through the middle.”

Jota came through the ranks at Benfica but found himself out of favour with manager Jorge Jesus ahead of this season.

He spent last season out on loan at La Liga side Real Valladolid, making 18 appearances and scoring twice.

In other news, this pundit says Celtic have landed an “absolute bargain” with the signing of Georgios Giakoumakis.