Celtic announce signing of Israeli international Liel Abada

By Euan Davidson

July 14, 2021

Celtic have finalised the signing of Israel international Liel Abada from Maccabi Petah Tikva.

Abada scored 13 goals for his the Israeli top-flight side last year. In doing so, he earned an international call-up, and attracted the attention of Ukrainian side Dinamo Kiev. A potential move to Kiev collapsed in January 2021 [Unian].

Celtic, instead, have swooped for the right-winger, who is also adept in the centre-forward position. A statement from the club read [Celtic FC]:

“Celtic are delighted to announce the signing of Liel Abada on a five-year deal from Maccabi Petah Tikva subject to international clearance. The highly-rated Israeli international midfielder completed his move today (Wednesday) at Celtic Park.

“Abada’s performances for his club last season earned him a call up to the senior Israeli squad and attracted interest from major European clubs.

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“The 19-year-old has predominantly played on the right-wing however, he was deployed as a centre forward on occasion in the latter half of last season which resulted in him scoring four goals in seven games for Maccabi Petah Tikva.

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“Abada came through the youth ranks at his hometown team Maccabi Petah Tikva and made his first-team debut with the club in January 2019  aged 17. He has gone on to make a total of 76 appearances for the Israeli club, scoring 20 goals along the way.”

Celtic act to secure sought-after Israeli international Liel Abada

Abada-bing, Abada-boom!

Speculation linking the 19-year-old international began in earnest yesterday. The Sun reported that Celtic had launched a bid for the Dudu Dahan client.

Since then, Nir Bitton, Abada’s former manager, and his own father have endorsed the player. Nir Bitton, as reported by Ynet, was influential from both sides. He encouraged Celtic to pursue Abada, and Abada to sign for the club.

His now former manager Guy Luzon said of Abada [Daily Record]:

“Liel is one of the greatest young talents I have ever seen in my time in football.

“And I say that when I have seen a great many of players both across Europe and at home.

“He was put in my team on merit and I will tell you why – he is the best finisher in the Israeli league and by a wide margin.”

Now, Celtic truly have options on the right-wing, and another striker to fill out squad depth. Still very young and with impressive pedigree, it looks like a smart move by the Bhoys.

READ MORE: Former manager dismisses last year’s points gap