Liel Abada "really enjoyed" playing for Celtic through the middle in December

By David Walton

January 27, 2022

Liel Abada has stated that he “really enjoyed” playing through the middle for Celtic but still sees himself as a natural right-winger.

Over the course of the festive period, Celtic struggled badly with a lack of striker options. Kyogo Furuhashi was on and off again with injuries whilst Giorgos Giakoumakis and Albian Ajeti were also sidelined respectively.

Abada was given a 3-game run as a centre-forward in matches against Ross County, St Mirren, and St Johnstone respectively. Impressively, the Israeli talent came out of the run with 3 goals to his name too. And as he was asked in a Q&A about his most natural position, he admitted he had fun playing as a striker:

Ange Postecoglou has been happy to move Abada around when necessary. Ange regularly switches the wingers to give his team some different dimensions. This has often led to Liel starting on the right and being switched over to the left.

There have been frustrations in the past about the player’s inconsistency at times. However, Abada’s stats continue to be mightily impressive for a 20-year-old. He’s played 35 times already this season and has managed 11 goals and 8 assists in all competitions [Transfermarkt]. Not bad for a £3.5m man [Scottish Sun].

Abada is likely to take up his right-wing position this weekend against Dundee United at Celtic Park – a fixture he netted in from the same position back in September.

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Ange predicts a bright future as Celtic find a new hero at Tynecastle
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Liel Abada is having a better Celtic debut season than has been made out

I don’t truly feel enough is made of just how much Abada has come on this season. Playing in a totally different environment back in Israel, this was always going to be a life-changing switch for him. Let’s not forget he’s spent his entire life and career back in his homeland.

Yet the winter has adapted to Scottish football life with relative ease. His game looks entirely suited to the football here, and he’s caused a host of full-backs nightmares.

We have to accept that for a 20-year-old talent, there are going to be periods of inconsistency. That’s probably why Ange rotates him so much with James Forrest. He knows the importance of keeping him fresh and giving him frequent breaks.

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

But when we look back on Abada’s debut campaign in Scotland, we’re going to see a player who’s come from a totally different footballing and cultural environment who’s become a big success and a key first-team player within a year.

All that combined with the fact he still has some scary potential within him. It’s easy to forget he’s only 20 given how much first-team exposure he’s had this season. Ange has bagged an incredible talent here, and we shouldn’t forget that.

Whether we see him back up top anytime soon is highly doubtful. But Ange knows he has that option if absolutely necessary. It goes to show how much depth we truly have when you strip it all back.

In other news, Charlie Mulgrew could once again be set to miss out on a Celtic Park return this weekend