Liel Abada completes medical ahead of transfer – Here’s his Celtic legacy

Liel Abada has reportedly now completed his medical ahead of his transfer to Charlotte FC from Celitc. The deal should be all done within next 24 hours with Abada joining the American side as a young development player.

Abada’s legacy at Celtic was easier this evening reviewed by James French, writing on our big sister site, The Celtic Star. James had this to say about the 22 year-old Israeli’s time at Celtic…

What is Liel Abada’s legacy at Celtic?

Celtic v Buckie Thistle – Liel Abada during the Scottish Cup match at Celtic Park on Sunday January 21, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

112 appearances, 51 goals contributions, two league titles and three cups, Liel Abada’s stint at Celtic may have been a relatively short one, but it was one marked by success.

After an impressive 2020/21 season in Israel with Maccabi Petah Tikva, scoring 13 goals and registering four assists across 38 games, Abada became Ange Postecoglou’s third signing in July 2021, albeit both the signings of Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide were done prior to the arrival of the Australian gaffer.

Quintessentially the first Ange signing

Abada was quintessentially the first Ange signing, representing the beginning of a new wave of recruitment from undervalued leagues across the world. The Israeli international was not only the first signing of the Ange era, but he also scored the first competitive goal under the Aussie.

Liel would go on to enjoy an extremely successful first season in Glasgow, scoring fifteen goals and registering 11 assists across 54 games, helping his side secure a league and cup double while picking up the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award in the process.

Celtic s manager Ange Postecoglou stand with Liel Abada during the pre-season friendly match at Celtic Park, photo Andrew Milligan

His second season in the East End of Glasgow was every bit as successful, scoring 13 goals and providing nine assists across 47 games as he helped Postecoglou’s side secure a treble. After struggling to maintain a starting position over Jota or Daizen Maeda in Ange’s last season, the arrival of Brendan Rodgers accompanied by the departure of the Portuguese winger led many fans to believe that this season would see the Israeli reach new heights in a hoops shirt.

Liel Abada celebrates scoring. Photo Jeff Holmes

A serious thigh injury at the very beginning of the season – ironically enough this injury was picked up while he was away on international duty with Israel – halted such talk, but his return to action in December was met with excitement and anticipation within the Celtic support, which once again was cut short by off the field matters.

Abada would start to receive excessive and vicious backlash from back home in Israel after The Green Brigade displayed banners in support of Palestine. It should be said that the Celtic support’s position on Palestine was well known around the world long before Liel Abada signed for Celtic.

The ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict seemed to expectedly take its toll on Abada since his return from injury, with the player looking disinterested during and after games.

Very rarely do you get a fairytale ending as a player or a manager, and this is certainly not how either Celtic or Abada envisaged this story ending when he bagged his first Celtic goal 959 days ago.

The 22-year-old, like all Celtic players, will be remembered for the big moments he provided for the fans, memories of his 90th minute winner against Dundee United at Celtic Park in 2021 along with his brace against theRangers last season both spring to mind.

Abada wasn’t the perfect player when he became Ange’s first signing and is still not the perfect player three years on as he looks set to leave the club, but as time passes, both he and Celtic fans will look back at his time at the club with great satisfaction.

In choosing to move to the United States he has perhaps factored in relationship between the country and his own, so that will please his anti-celtic detractors in his homeland. Celtic was always good to Liel Abada and at no stage did the Celtic support show anything but affection and appreciation for the player. In time he may remember us more fondly than he does at the moment.

We wish him all the very best in his footballing journey, wherever it leads him.

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