How Will Liel Abada’s Time at Celtic Be Remembered?

Liel Abada could see an incredibly overwhelming few months at Parkhead finally come to a close with a move to the United States to join MLS side Charlotte FC potentially on the cards.

The deal could potentially be worth around £11million with a fee being agreed a few days ago, and a medical being completed in the last 24 hours.

He will be joining up with former Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, with former Rangers player Scott Arfield also playing for the MLS side.

Speculation surrounding Abada’s future has been rife over the last few months, with the fallout of the escalation of the situation in Israel and Palestine placing Abada in a very tricky situation, as the Celtic support has always maintained a strong support for the Palestinian people.

His time at the club hasn’t ended the way he or the support would have liked it to have ended, but how will Liel Abada’s time as a Celtic player really be remembered?

Key Player in Ange’s Revitalised Celtic
When Ange Postecoglou arrived at Celtic, the pressure was on the Aussie upon his immediate arrival. Celtic had seen a season sent from hell the year prior and Postecoglou was the man trusted with restoring Celtic back to the top of Scottish football, and if he didn’t, chances are he would have been sacked.

Postecoglou has maintained when reflecting on the first season that one the key ways of getting the fans on side early on was making sure the signings were right and inspired a sense of hope from supporters, and Liel Abada did exactly that.

Signing as a 19-year-old for a decent fee, Abada made an immediate impact as he scored from the bench against Midtjylland in a Champions League Second-Round qualifier, a game Celtic would draw thanks to a Vasilis Barkas howler. (Remember Him?)

He hit the ground running and quickly continued from there, finding some great chemistry with Kyogo Furuhashi that saw the pair given a song by the Celtic support, showing just how correct Ange was in the importance of getting the supporters on side early with his signings.

A Big Player for the Big Moments
One of the best ways to earn the acclaim of the Celtic support is by scoring in a derby against Rangers, and Liel Abada made quite the habit of doing just that.

A night that the Celtic support will never forget is February 2nd 2022, where Celtic blew away Rangers 3-0 in a game that showed for all to see the progress the club had made under Ange, and it was Liel Abada who ghosted past Borna Barisic to turn home Celtic’s third in one of the most fast-paced, free-flowing halves of football you are ever likely to see at Parkhead.

His habit of scoring against Rangers didn’t stop there, grabbing a brace against them later that year in a 4-0 demolition at Parkhead.

However, for all of his derby exploits, perhaps his most famous goal for the club comes against Dundee United. Rangers had dropped points in Dingwall against Ross County in dramatic fashion earlier that day, and Celtic could cut the gap at the top to just two points with a victory over Dundee United.

It seemed like Celtic had spurned that opportunity, but in the 95th minute Liel Abada stepped up to put Celtic ahead, a moment that many identify as a turning point in that season.

Whilst things may not have ended the way we all would have wanted, the big moments he has provided as well as the trophies he has played his part in securing all make Liel Abada’s time at Celtic a positive one.

James McKenzie // @JamesWHMcKenzie

Leave a Reply