Chris Sutton calls on players to tell truth after Jota's Celtic exit - 'say it like it is'

Jota left Scottish champions Celtic for Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad for £25million.Jota left Scottish champions Celtic for Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad for £25million.
Jota left Scottish champions Celtic for Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad for £25million.
Chris Sutton fears Jota could be wasting prime years of his career in Saudi Arabia and has called for players to be truthful about their reasons for heading to the Middle East.

Jota has joined Al-Ittihad in a £25 million move after two successful seasons at Parkhead. Sutton understands the Portuguese winger's reasons for joining the club, where he will be feeding former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema among others. But he wishes those joining the exodus out of European football to the Middle East, including former Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, would stop pretending it’s for reasons other than pure personal financial gain.

“I think in terms of Jota going I think he is a big loss,” said Sutton. “I think the Saudi league was going to be dangerous. I thought initially just for the Scottish League. But even to the Premier League, not necessarily I think Jordan Henderson at 32, 33 and Ronaldo and Benzema going there at the end of their careers.

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“In terms of the likes of (former Wolves midfielder) Ruben Neves – a younger player – I think it is a concern. The Saudi league can probably cherry pick from leagues like the Scottish league. That is a concern because we don’t want all our best players going over there.

“I just wish players would say it like it is, that they’re going over there for the money. Not because they love the Saudi league and supported it and watched it since they were a boy and wanted to win a Saudi title.

“It is what it is. From a footballing perspective, and I understand his (Jota's) reasons for going, he may come back a better player. I don’t know how competitive the Saudi league is. I couldn’t tell you the standard. But it’s a bit of a waste for a young player, who’s probably coming into his prime, to go over there essentially for the money. But I understand why he’s done it.”

Sutton has made his own big money move this summer – to Sky Sports. The former Celtic striker is teaming up with Old Firm rival Kris Boyd as the broadcaster beefs up its coverage of Scottish football.

Sky Sports and NOW will show exclusive live coverage of the cinch Premiership, with up to 48 games available this season.