The 23-year-old who is quickly becoming a Celtic fans’ favourite

Luis Palma netted his third goal and chalked up his second assist of the season as he made his mark from the bench against Ross County. He scored a goal-of-the-season contender and has been one of the standout performers in recent weeks, quickly becoming a fans’ favourite.

Celtic supporters could be forgiven for wondering who was going to be the player to step up in Liel Abada’s absence following the Israeli’s injury.

Yang Hyun-jun looked in early dispatches like the most likely option to step into a starting role for the champions, but it has been the Honduran who has grabbed the bull by the horns and made the position his own.

Here are a few reasons why Palma is becoming a fans’ favourite at Parkhead:

Knack for the extraordinary

Palma has shown an incredible ability on the ball in the early stages of his career. He has the willingness to take on a man, and whilst at times he may be a bit one-dimensional in that he tends to chop in from the left-hand side on to his right foot, he is incredibly difficult to stop due to his movement.

His ball-striking ability has been one of the key attributes of his game so far, having scored three tremendous goals already for Celtic with his long-range efforts against Motherwell, Kilmarnock and most recently against Ross County. These incredible feats have meant that fans have quickly been taking to him and there is a sense of excitement around the ground whenever he is on the ball.

Big player in big moments

The Honduran has been stepping up when the team needs a player to provide a a bit of quality to drag us out of the mud. Celtic had been knocking on the door for 87 minutes at Fir Park against Motherwell before Palma made an appearance from the bench and scored from outside the box to give the Hoops the lead. Matt O’Riley did eventually grab the winner that day but Palma had shown the initiative to get the fans off their feet to begin with.

It hasn’t just been domestically, though, as in Europe he has also been shining. He thought he’d opened his European goalscoring account against Lazio but his goal was disallowed due to a marginal offside. He wasted no time in making up for this, though, as he smashed an effort in off of the post against Atletico Madrid to send Parkhead into raptures and send the Hoops back in front on the night.

His quality has been apparent in the big moments, which is only going to make him even more important to this Celtic team.

Shining in a position where we lost a key player

Losing Jota in the summer was a move that caught both fans and the club completely by surprise, and this was further emphasised by the fact that it took Celtic until later in the transfer window to spend the money on a player to replace the Portuguese winger.

Whilst he may not immediately replace the quality Jota brought to the side, he has been showing a lot of attributes in the early stages of his Celtic career, a similar instant impact to that had by the Portuguese favourite in his initial loan spell from Benfica.

The fact that he has hit the ground running in a position in which the club has lost one of its most important players has led to fans quickly accepting Palma, and the Honduran is only going to improve as the weeks go by.


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