By Graham Hill
VILLA signing Jota impressed fans in last night’s pre-season friendly win over Minnesota United – and Darren Bent says this is a player who will ‘excite’ in the Premier League.
But the former Villa striker admits he is confused by the Spaniard’s progress as he thought he would have been playing in the Premier League by now.
Winger Jota stood out in the US match on Wednesday and now Bent wants to see him take those skills into the top flight.
Smith raised eyebrows when he moved for his former Brentford wide man by signing him from city rivals Blues.
Gary Gardner moved in the other direction but the then Birmingham boss Garry Monk did want to lose Jota and it formed part of the row which saw him sacked by St Andrew’s chiefs.
Now Villa fans are taking to the 28-year-old and but Bent told the Football Insider site he thought Jota would have gone to the Premier League from Brentford.
Bent said: “I’m really excited. To be fair, he’s one player that really does confuse me.
“When he was at Brentford, I remember thinking: ‘Wow, who is this kid?’ His left foot was nice, I thought what a player.
“I expected him to end up at a Premier League side, then he ended up at Birmingham. I was like: ‘What’s happened here?’ because his ability on the ball, his passing and everything, he really, really impressed me.
“Then he makes the move across the park to their rivals, I’m like: ‘Wow!’ I’m excited to see him make the step up. Technically, he’ll make the step-up easy because he’s a very good player. I think he’s got the capability to do it. Just whether the pace of the pace is too fast for him.”