Liverpool’s attacker Diogo Jota is unquestionably one of the biggest stars in the Premier League and, having moved to Anfield for £40 million in 2020, is considered to have been a good piece of business for the Merseyside club.
The 25-year-old has an impressive record this season, having scored 19 goals in all competitions, including 13 alone in 26 Premier League matches.
However, Jota has not always been held in such impressive esteem. to be frank, he was once considered expensive for a fee of €2,600 and over.
Jota was still playing with Pacos de Ferreira’s youth team when he was spotted by Vitoria Guimaraes scout Ivo Rodrigues, who advised his club to sign the young forward Diego.
DIEGO JOTA REJECTED OVER PRICE FEE
“Diogo was in his first season with Pacos de Ferreira,” Rodrigues is quoted by the Sun as having said.
“It was December 2, 2013, they were playing Beira Mar and my eyes were drawn to him like a magnet. He was the youngest on the pitch but I saw he was going to be a star, so after the game I waited outside the dressing room to meet him and his parents.
“Then I went home and immediately typed the scouting report for my bosses at Guimaraes. The next day I told them to sign Diogo Jota with no further delay.
“I watched him for a second time but, to be honest, that first one was enough. I was very clear that he should be a top priority and emphasised this several times.
“Guimaraes had four people watching games all over Portugal and then we’d all compare our reports. Diogo was the one we saw least really, but the top in our list of priorities. He could do things that other ones could not.
“My persistence paid off and my bosses started the negotiations to sign him via his parents… I think it was because I drove them that crazy!
“But unfortunately, Diogo couldn’t reach a financial agreement with Guimaraes, and he stayed at Pacos de Ferreira.
“It was very sad to not see him at my local club. However, as a scout I was very happy with my work.
“I spotted the boy, I informed my club he should be a priority, and I think after all these years, I can say I was right!”