Celtic target Liel Abada "best finisher in Israeli league", according to current boss

By Euan Davidson

July 14, 2021

Celtic supporters should be getting excited about Liel Abada potentially finalising a deal, if his manager’s words are anything to go by.

Abada, a client of agent Dudu Dahan, is travelling to Glasgow today, according to reports from Israel [One]. The teenager, who scored 13 goals for Maccabi Petah Tikva last season [Transfermarkt], has attracted interest from Dinamo Moscow and Club Brugge in recent months.

However, Celtic appear to have taken the lead for the Israeli winger’s signature. And, given some comments by his manager Guy Luzon, we ought to be very keen on the idea.

According to Luzon [quotes via 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.

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“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.

“Every goal he scores for us should add another million on to his value!

“He’s developed brilliantly and has improved with every season.

“Liel is still young but he is very mature for his age. He’s an outstanding prospect who is certain to have a very good future in this game.”

Luzon, who managed Standard Liege in 13-14, has coached some impressive talents in his time. In Belgium, he could rely upon the talents of Michy Batshuayi, Dudu Biton and former Watford man Geoffrey Bia. So, his words aren’t without weight.

Praise indeed for Celtic target Liel Abada; but where does he fit into Bhoys squad?

The right-wing situation at Celtic could be described as interesting if it were anywhere else. Since it’s our club, we’re going to have to go with “frustrating”.

At the moment, James Forrest and Karamoko Dembele occupy the right flank. Dembele, undoubtedly a talent for the future, has impressed in pre-season, and is desperate to make a lasting mark at Celtic.

Forrest was injured for most of last season, and his absence showed. When fit and firing, he’s one of our best players, and most consistent contributors, in terms of goals and assists.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

So where would Liel Abada fit? At just 19, and with an Israel cap to his name, he can’t be the kind of player we can develop without significant game-time.

Promisingly, Abada has featured as a centre-forward for Maccabi Petah Tikva, scoring 4 in 7 appearances [Transfermarkt]. While it appears his natural position is on the right flank, he could give us some options. Think Oli Burke in 18-19, from a positional point of view.

There’s enough encouragement here to suggest this could be a very decent deal for Celtic. Certainly, his manager thinks he’s worth the fuss. His challenge at Paradise would be finding a niche to secure playing time.

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