Liel Abada’s Celtic u-turn has been a real head-scratcher for Celtic fans as, at one point, it seemed like the Israeli was destined for the exit door.
During the transfer window, however, it was announced by Celtic that Abada had signed a brand new four-year deal with the club. But how did Brendan Rodgers convince Liel Abada to stick around?
Here are a few reasons as to just what Rodgers might have promised the winger.
Consistent starting position
Liel Abada saw his starting minutes dwindle in his second season at Celtic Park. After being a consistent starter in his first season at the club where he thrived, especially in the early stages under Ange Postecoglou, he was relegated to a bit-part player from the bench.
This may have come as a surprise to some fans, but it seemed like a decision that was made in reaction to certain moves from the Israeli’s agent. Liel Abada made the switch from working with Dudu Dahan, who has supplied Celtic with the likes of Nir Bitton and Beram Kayal in the past, to the FSB agency. Current clients include Germany and Real Madrid centre-back Antonio Rudiger and former Celt Josip Juranovic.
Juranovic was constantly linked away to a string of different clubs, whether that be the Premier League or Spanish sides like Atletico Madrid, before he eventually got his move to Union Berlin. It was clear Juranovic was edging for a move away and it seemed like history was going to repeat itself with Abada as links with the Premier League, Ajax and Sporting Lisbon started to swirl.
This coincided with Abada being dropped from his starting berth which would have only further encouraged the winger to pursue a move elsewhere.
Step up Brendan Rodgers, whose arrival came with many different questions from fans, one of those being which players currently at the club would Rodgers take a liking to. Fans speculated that Abada would be one of them and news started to develop around positive discussions between Rodgers and the Israeli, where the manager may have perhaps promised more starting minutes to Abada.
Emphasising importance to the team
Liel Abada started hot at Celtic and that was because there was added pressure on him to hit the ground running as one of the first signings of Ange Postecoglou’s rebuild.
He relished the importance and took on the role of one of Celtic’s main men in attack where he flourished. However, with the success and importance to the team that Jota was starting to build up, Abada started to feel like he was playing second fiddle.
With Jota moving to Al-Ittihad this summer, Rodgers may have emphasised the importance of Abada to step up in the Portuguese winger’s absence and become one of the main men in the Celtic attack again.
Rodgers’ confidence and trust would have reaffirmed the winger of his future and will no doubt have played a key part in Liel Abada renewing at Celtic and signing up for four more years.