Celtic hero gets hyped up with rave media review abroad; tipped to replace national side icon

By John McGinley

September 23, 2022

Attacker Liel Abada has had a lightning start to the Celtic season without really cementing himself as a first-choice pick in Ange Postecoglou’s starting eleven.

Of his ten appearances in all competitions to date, five have come from the bench. But that hasn’t stopped his knack for goalscoring, with the winger already scoring six goals – tied with Kyogo Furuhashi as the squad’s top scorer so far.

It’s this ability to put the ball in the back of the net that has Israeli media so excited ahead of their upcoming UEFA Nations League test against Albania – and a friendly against Malta.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In fact, Walla have described Abada as the man who has “quietly become the most important player in Israeli national team’s attack”, not just for the Albania fixture but potentially for many years.

Goalscoring icon Eran Zahavi is coming to the end of his career for club and country at 35, and it’s Abada who has been tipped to fill that hole, despite being a winger and not an outright centre-forward.

Walla say that Abada is the most likely candidate to pick up the slack from Zahavi’s absence, after a 33-goal stint in their country’s attack from 70 caps.

Abada has earned eight caps with Israel but didn’t make his first start until the last international break in June when he was picked for all three of their Nations League B matches and scored his first ever international goal against Iceland.

This coincided with the arrival of Alon Hazan as national team boss. The Israeli media outlet reckons that Abada didn’t get due credit before the coaching switch and are bullish about his chances of an sustained impact.

Still just 20, Abada is likely to start a fourth match for his country tomorrow night and he’ll be eager to live up to the media hype. If he can build on his goals against Ross County, Dundee United and Rangers, there may be many more predicting him to fill Zahavi’s goalscoring shoes.

If Israel beat Albania, they’ll be heading for promotion into the Nations League A set-up, where Abada will have the chance to test himself consistently against world-class defences. In the end, that can only benefit Celtic.

In other news, Liverpool supporter Ange Postecoglou eyes Everton scalp with Celtic as “real game” is promised.