When it comes to the awards given out in Scottish football at the end of the season, there is one Celtic player that should definitely feature in the running for those accolades, and it’s not Jota or Kyogo – it’s Liel Abada.
He has had an excellent first season in Scotland, one that has perhaps gone under the radar and deserves to be highlighted a bit more.
Abada’s performances this season are all the better when you consider that when he joined Celtic in the summer for a reported fee of £3.5m from Maccabi Petah Tikva, he was only 19 years old and joining a Hoops side in upheaval following the failed pursuit of Eddie Howe.
However, the issues at Celtic didn’t stop Abada from starting the season well, and he has gone on to become one of the most important players at the club.
Abada’s excellent goal in the recent win over Alloa took his goal tally to the season to 11, with eight assists. That is very good total for a player in their first season in Glasgow, and Abada has taken to life under Ange Postecoglou.
One aspect of Abada’s game that might well be pleasing to the Hoops boss. So far in his short time at Celtic, Abada has played in his natural position on the wing and as a striker too.
That has been useful this season when you consider how many injuries that the Hoops have had in their forward line. Abada did go off with an injury during the win over Alloa, and hopefully it is not a serious injury, as Abada will be a key player for the Bhoys over the next few weeks.
With Georgios Giakoumaskis fit, you would expect he will be leading the line for Celtic with Daizen Maeda on international duty and Kyogo injured, but there could be an option to use Abada as a striker too, which Postecoglou might decide to do if the situation calls for it.
It will be interesting to see just how many goals and assists that Abada ends the season with. He looks well on course for double figures in both, and who knows, perhaps he should be aiming for 20 goals this season.
Even if he doesn’t reach 20 goals by the end of the season, Abada has shown enough that he should be in contention for the numerous player of the season awards. Should he be overlooked for those, he has still had a good first season in Scotland, and he looks more than capable of doing even better next season.