If you are looking for a (football) gem, you need to do some (data) mining. Jota was unearthed after a spell on the Valladolid bench. For 18 months, Nicolas Kuhn (24) has ploughed a furrow on the Rapid Vienna right wing. Just as Kuhn left Munich for Vienna, Rapid were deducted points for various financial failings, including not submitting accounts on a timely manner.
They currently occupy 6th spot in the Austrian Bundesliga, slightly closer to relegation than championship contenders. For context, the side two places above them in the table had an average home crowd last season of 2,537. Rapid are by far the best supported side in the country, but they are a model of disfunction.
Nicolas has made a total of 60 first team appearances, almost half of them in the German second tier (on loan from Bayern at Erzgebirge Aue). How many appearances a player has made before joining Celtic is a metric you and I discuss often. 60 is just about enough to fire up some interesting stats and have the player scouted, but not so many that he will attract clubs from the wealthy leagues.
This has been his breakthrough season, he started less than half Rapid’s league games last term but has been first choice for all but one game this season (he was carrying a knock that day). All I know for sure is that we are passing up players we like this month to concentrate on players we want. If he arrives, he fulfils the latter category.
Also, he was born on the first day of the new millennium. You feel old now, don’t you?