Date: 20th September 2019 at 6:23pm
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EXCLUSIVE

Aston Villa winger Jota needs to up his game and start producing more goals or face a relegation battle with the Villans come the end of the season, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds United striker says that the Spanish wide man has proven he has the talents to both score and create goals but that he has not lived up to expectation in the Premier League so far.

The attacker reunited with former manager Dean Smith over the summer, the duo having been at Brentford together, but has produced just one assist in his opening five top-flight outings.

Whelan says that the 28-year-old has got to start making a difference in front of goal and that a failure to do so could leave Villa in the lurch come the end of the season.

Whelan told Football Insider: “We know he’s very talented – I think that’s down to the player to be honest with you. He’s got to start bringing a little bit more to the table.

“We know he’s an exciting player, we know he can create and score goals and he’s got another opportunity on Sunday to go and show that to the manager.

“They need to start scoring goals, these draws will soon catch up with them and it might not be enough come the end of the season. They need to turn some of these draws into wins very quickly.”

Jota played 144 times in the Championship before making the step up to England’s elite, with 31 goals and 22 assists while in the second tier.

He has played with Dean Smith as his manager 37 times during his career, the joint-third most under the bosses he has had as a player.

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal that the club have set their sights on splashing £20million-plus on a January signing.