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Celtic snap up Israel winger Liel Abada

The 19-year-old netted 20 goals in 76 games in all for Maccabi Petah Tikva.

Ange Postecoglou.
Ange Postecoglou.
Image: PA

CELTIC HAVE SIGNED Israel international winger Liel Abada on a five-year contract.

The 19-year-old has joined from Maccabi Petah Tikva and will link up with his new team-mates on Friday.

Abada is a right-sided wide player who had a short spell up front for his club last season and netted 20 goals in 76 games in all for Tikva.

Abada made his international debut last month.

Abada is Celtic’s third summer signing, with former Sheffield Wednesday pair Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide arriving previously.

His arrival will give Ange Postecoglou much-needed options out wide after Celtic went through last season largely without James Forrest and Mikey Johnston through injury, and the only other winger, Mohamed Elyounoussi, has returned to parent club Southampton. 

Forrest was hit with a self-isolation order ahead of Celtic’s pre-season training camp in Wales and Johnston went off injured early on as Celtic took on Bristol City in a friendly on Wednesday evening.

Celtic also suffered a pre-match injury issue when Vasilis Barkas was replaced in goal by Scott Bain just ahead of kick-off.

Kristoffer Ajer did not feature in the goalless draw amid renewed speculation linking him with a potential move to Brentford. The Hoops have been linked with moves for Rennes full-back Brandon Soppy and Rubin Kazan’s Swedish centre-back Carl Starfelt.

Odsonne Edouard was also missing in Bristol after picking up a thigh strain in the weekend friendly win over Charlton. Karamoko Dembele started with Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie also absent.

Albian Ajeti and David Turnbull forced saves but City twice hit the post.

Dembele also went off injured after taking a heavy knock while Ismaila Soro did not reappear for the second half after appearing to struggle with his hamstring. And Postecoglou bemoaned the injury situation.

“We are not great on numbers at the moment so it’s a bit disappointing,” he told Celtic TV. “We may have lost a couple but we will see how it all washes up and hopefully they are not too bad.

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“It was a tough workout for the boys. We had a really solid session on Tuesday as well. To be fair we started really well and I thought the first 45-55 minutes we were really good. We dominated the game, created chances and didn’t really allow much.

“Again there were some positive signs but it’s a fine line, we are trying to get as much work into the boys as possible without compromising their wellbeing.

“We picked up a couple of injuries so that’s a bit disappointing but overall in terms of the football it was another positive step.”

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