It has been reported this week that Liel Abada turned down the offer of a contract extension at Celtic. Although still tied to the club until 2026, the talented youngster will no doubt be heading out of Celtic Park in the summer transfer window.
Such reports are often taken with a pinch of salt, but it was reported by the usually reliable Stephen McGowan on the Scottish Daily Mail, so there must be some substance to it. He won’t be short of suitors either, so the club should expect no shortage of offers for the young Israeli.
Liel is a terrific player and it’s quite easy to forget that he’s only 21 years of age. In the 18 months or so he’s been here he’s scored 27 goals and provided 18 assists in just 95 games. That’s sensational stats for a wide player. The fact he’s not a regular starter makes his numbers all the more fascinating. If it was Ryan Kent they would be talking £30 million.
And he’s scored in big games, like the Glasgow derby and in Europe also. The way he also turned the game in our favour when appearing as a second half substitute at Paisley a couple of weeks ago was further proof of his maturity. Ok it was against ten man St Mirren, but more experienced players have wilted in similar circumstances. He’s the real deal.
Southampton have been rumoured to be preparing a £10 million bid. If true, it should be laughed at. Any other young international with those stats would be going for £20 million plus especially in the overpriced EPL.
I know he’s not a regular starter and he plays in a league that is looked down upon, especially by our arrogant neighbours down south, but he’s a talented international player with more potential still to come. Not to mention he has three years left on his contract. We should realistically be looking for a price in the region of £15 – £20 million. It’s what he’s worth. Lesser players are going for more down south. The ball is firmly in the club’s court.
We all understand that Liel is most likely to depart in the summer. What Celtic must do is get a transfer fee that reflects his talents. It will be sad to see him go, but if it’s what he wants, so be it. No player is bigger than the club. Better players have left and we’ve coped. What we must do is make sure we reinvest the funds in a player of the same quality or with more quality. One things for sure, he’ll be hard to replace. I’m sure Ange has plans in place already. He’s done not badly so far.
When Liel does inevitably depart, we should bare no ill will to the young man. He should go on good terms. The only person glad to see him go should be Borna Barisic. Liel is more than entitled to make as much money as he can. It’s a short career. He’s done us a good turn and will make us a good profit to reinvest in the side.
Everyone’s a winner.
JustAnOrdinaryBhoy – follow on Twitter @ordinarybhoy