The strange situation that Liel Abada finds himself in

Liel Abada finds himself in a strange situation at Celtic at the moment. The Israeli international has performed at a consistently high level during his time at Celtic and at just 21 years old has his best years ahead of him.

Lethal in front of goal whilst also proving to be an effective creator, Abada has an extremely high ceiling but for some reason, he finds himself in a state of limbo at Celtic.  Abada has not been a consistent starter over the last 6 months and became something of a bit-part player at the club towards the end of Ange Postecoglou’s time as manager.

But how does such a good player find himself in this situation, and what does the future hold for Liel Abada?

Early days

Abada was one of the first players brought into the club during Ange Postecoglou’s initial rebuild phase.  With a transfer fee of £3.5 million hanging over his head, there was a lot of expectation on the young Israeli to hit the ground running. At just 19 years of age and settling into life in a new country, it would have been easy for Abada to simply crumble.  However, he stepped up to the plate by scoring on his Celtic debut, setting the bar high for what was an incredibly successful debut season.

Abada scored consistently during his first season, including a number of important goals at big moments in big games.  Goals against Rangers as well as a pendulum-swinging late winner at home to Dundee United established Abada as a fan favourite at Celtic.

A catchy song about his partnership with Kyogo Furuhashi ringing around the ground also made him even more popular.  Ultimately, Abada finished the season with 15 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, a very respectable tally. Naturally, that attracted some interest.

New Agent

In September 2022, Liel Abada switched agents following his successful debut season with Celtic. Initially with Dudu Dahan, who was a key figure in bringing several Israeli-based players to Celtic during Neil Lennon’s first spell in charge, Abada made the switch to sign with Hussein Al Gaaod of the FSB agency.

Al Gaaod also represents former Celt Josip Juranovic and you can imagine that he would have had a part to play in a lot of the rumours surrounding Juranovic’s future and his subsequent move to Union Berlin.

After signing with his new agency, Abada continued playing to his highest ability whether that be in the Champions League or domestically. It wasn’t until the second portion of the season that rumours about Abada’s future began to pop up.

Transfer Rumours

Murmurs of interest from the Premier League and Dutch giants Ajax in Abada began to gather steam as multiple reports came out. This led to speculation about Abada’s future at the club which was not helped by Israel boss Alon Hazan stating that Abada wasn’t getting enough game time at Celtic due to the fact that he had rejected a new contract offer from the club.

If Abada had rejected a contract offer then that could perhaps explain his lack of game time towards the end of last season despite his performance levels rarely dropping. We saw a similar thing happen to Giorgos Giakoumakis when it became known that his time at the club was coming to an end.



Back to his best under Rodgers?

After being seemingly exiled for the second portion of last season, a fresh start and a clean slate under Brendan Rodgers could be the best thing that could have happened to Abada if he sees himself at Celtic next season.

He fits the profile of the type of winger Rodgers likes with his direct style potentially seeing him thrive under the Northern Irishman.

That is, unless Abada wants a move elsewhere this summer, with his agent maybe edging him in that direction. However, Rodgers has a reputation for being one of the best managers in Britain and if anyone can convince the Israeli to stick around for another year and take his game to a completely new level it would be him.

James McKenzie

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