Jota sees THAT Celtic transfer exit prophecy come true as gutted star fronts up to his Saudi reality live on air

Winger Jota has fronted up to Al-Ittihad's problems as he prepares to finish his first season in the Saudi Pro League without a trophy - as he failed to clamp a key criticism over his Celtic exit.

The 24-year-old has finally been given a run in the starting line-up in the Middle East following his £25m departure from the Scottish Premiership - having initially not been registered on the list of foreign players allowed in the Ittihad league squad. That limited Jota to cameos in cup competitions and occasional Asian Champions League appearances - but he has been handed a second chance by boss Marcelo Gallardo.

But despite more regular minutes he has failed to help the club land any silverware this season - with criticism mounting from the fans inside the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium over the performances of the dethroned Saudi champions. The club saw their faint hopes of lifting silverware this season ended by Al-Hilal last week when they crashed out of the Kings' Cup of Champions.

A common criticism of Jota over his decision to leave Celtic Park was that he had only made the move to the Pro League for financial reasons - and had passed up his chance at silverware. The wide man had bristled at the notion - insisting he wanted to bring trophies to Jeddah.

But things have gone from bad to worse for the Portuguese star just days later. Jota got back on the scoresheet - but couldn't prevent his side flopping to a 3-1 defeat to relegation-threatened Abha. Post-match he was forced to face up to the reality of the campaign- and the reality that critics have thrown at him over his departure from the Hoops.

He told Saudi outlet SSC: “We apologise to the fans for leaving the King’s Cup and the rest of the tournaments. We have to improve ourselves. We will work to correct the results in the upcoming matches. Al-Ittihad is a big club and will return to winning trophies. It is difficult to express what happened in today's match."