More sad times are with us, with confirmation that José Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo (Jota to his West London friends) will be heading back to Spain on loan with Eibar.
The reasons for the Spaniard’s departure are largely personal – a pregnant wife seems to be a significant factor here – and Brentford appear to have shown the player a large serving of compassion and respect in granting his wish to return to his homeland.
For supporters, however, the departure of our mercurial midfield maestro will be a very sad affair indeed. Since his arrival in the summer of 2014 Jota has thrilled us, inspired us and dragged us onto the front foot in games with our opponents often having to try and nullify his significant threat with one, two or sometimes three markers.
For me personally, Jota has been a living breathing example of everything that is great about “new Brentford”. A player with the guile, technique and impudence to destroy teams single handed. A player who can light up a stadium with one delicious swivel of his hips. A player who entertains and rarely disappoints. We had about fifteen right wingers under Andy Scott and frankly none of them are fit to wash up Jota’s paella dish.
No-one had heard of him when he signed, but we will be talking about him fondly for years. He helped mend our hearts when we lost Adam Forshaw, eclipsing the performances of our former hero with a regular showcase of footballing genius (a fact documented in song by Brentford fans on the Ealing Road terrace).
The highlights have been a plenty, but his main legacy will be the goals in the last minute against Fulham last season at both Griffin Park and the Chicken Cottage. Whilst his “winning” goal in Putney this year was unfairly chalked off the board by the officials it didn’t really matter – I’ve counted it in my head anyway.
One thing that I have already learnt about “Benhamball” is that I will have new heroes. In the past we would have struggled to replace Jota, this season we’ve been doing alright without him already.
Whilst Jota is only leaving on loan, I suspect we won’t see him back in a Brentford shirt. But I’m damn sure he will light up La Liga like he has lit up the Championship and we should, in time, see a good return on our initial investment as we continue our progress as a football club.
There is a get-back option with Eibar, so we may see him in a Bees shirt again, but for the moment at least, it’s a fond farewell to a brilliant showman and we hope the birth goes well for him and his partner.
Jota’s in my all time greatest Brentford XI – is he in yours?