Liel Abada provides first words as a Celtic player

By David Walton

July 14, 2021

On what ended up a hugely concerning night, Liel Abada provided Celtic fans with a class reassurance about his fitness levels.

Tonight saw Celtic draw 0-0 with Bristol City in our third pre-season game of the campaign. It ended with plenty of bruises and injury concerns too.

Mikey Johnston and Karamoko Dembele both had to come off with injuries. Vasilis Barkas pulled out before the game with a knock, whilst Ismaila Soro came off at half-time after struggling towards the end of the first 45.

Dembele’s injury means Celtic have little in the way of right-wingers just now. With James Forrest also currently sidelined, Abada could have to be thrown in next week vs Midtjylland. But the player has stated he would be more than ready physically if given the opportunity.

Speaking via Celtic’s official website, Abada said: “This is a huge club and it’s an honour to sign for Celtic. I know the fans are incredible, I have watched some Celtic games in Israel so I know how amazing these fans are and how special this stadium is. I can’t wait to get out on the pitch to play and help my teammates bring more success to the club.

“Pre-season for me has been good. I was playing international football and have been training in pre-season so I am feeling good and ready to play. I know there are important games very soon so I will be ready if the manager calls on me.

“My main aim to help the team win the title. That’s my focus and I will give everything I have in training and out on the pitch to help the club achieve this.”

Liel Abada Celtic bow hopefully won’t have to be rushed

It’s superb to see the enthusiasm shown by Abada here. There’s no desire to wait for several weeks to get himself acclimatised to his new environment. No desire to sit on the sidelines and soak everything in first.

He wants to get right into the swing of things. No doubt if he was selected against Midtjylland, he would be absolutely buzzing to receive the opportunity.

However, this is still something we could do with avoiding. If Karamoko is fit, he deserves his spot in the team after a promising pre-season so far. Not to mention that Abada won’t meet his teammates until Friday. It hardly gives him much time to be ready for next week.

Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

Ideally, the player would be given some time to get used to the new culture. He’ll find so much different about Scotland compared to Israel. All he has to do is ask Nir Bitton or former Celt Hatem Elhamed. There will need to be a small settling in period.

If worse comes to worst, however, at least the player won’t have any complaints. Being involved in pre-season back in Israel should stand him in good stead. As well being away with his national team over the summer too.

We’ll see what happens over the course of the next few days. Fingers crossed that all those suffering knocks can make a swift recovery.

In other news: CELTIC injury worries tally up in physical friendly against Bristol City