Abada indicates Postecoglou, McKay, direction


Celtic made the first significant spend of the Ange Postecoglou and Dom McKay era yesterday by splashing £3.5m on Israeli winger, Liel Abada.  The 19-year-old has made 48 career starts and 19 substitute appearances in senior football, all for Maccabi Petah Tikva.

After Liam Shaw (20) and Osaze Urhoghide (21 this month) joined from Sheffield Wednesday for training compensation fees, Abada’s signing is further indication that Celtic are intent on developing a team, rather than attempting to buy finished articles (like the definitely finished Shane Duffy).  Two years from now, we should see the benefits of this approach, but as you know, there is a lot of football to be played before then.

What can you tell about a player who has played as few games as Liel, all of them in Israel?  Israeli football is not a backwater, it is strong enough to test a teenage talent but the volume written about 48 starts will be a short book.  With added travel restrictions, we can be sure he has not been watched often.

We are in familiar territory in signing players after so few appearances.  Virgil van Dijk made 63 starts before signing for Celtic.  Since then, the window before players with speculative potential reach eye-watering prices has shrunk.  If we left Liel another year, we may find his progressed stalled, or that he has moved out our price range.  We are going to kiss a lot of frogs when shopping in this sector, which is OK.

I had hoped Leigh Griffiths would remain at Celtic this season and was pleased when he signed a new one-year deal earlier this month – what feels like a long time ago.  For me, yesterday’s news that he will not face criminal proceedings does not restore his position as a Celtic player.  Better for all that he finds a new club as soon as possible.

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  1. ROLLING_STONE on 15TH JULY 2021 3:49 PM



    @PHILBHOY on 15TH JULY 2021 3:02



    Ajer isn’t a midfielder or a full back. He’s a CB. He isn’t the strongest in the air but his qualities lie at CB






    Absolute pish mate.



    With respect.

  2. FHB @ 9.37



    It is a gamble when you can’t sell the season tickets.


    It is a gamble when you have to close the LL Upper.


    It is a gamble when you lose the league to journeymen.


    It is a gamble when the EL becomes a challenge too far.



    At some point DD / Irish Raj will realise that he will only have a saleable asset when we are growing as a team / club. He has to remember that the TFOD2.1 will happily join the EPL without us if we fall to a place where we are an irrelevance in UK football.



    LCA / LCY worked because they would not allow another airport to be developed in inner city London.



    We do have competitors that will steal our lunch given half a chance.



    If growth isn’t DD’s thing then he should move on and let the club develop.



    PL only lasted 17 years because he was doing DD’s bidding.


    He was hopeless but DD did not want quality — he just didn’t want to put his hand into his pocket again.




  3. fairhill bhoy on

    Well that’s the wife been to work and bingo,and I’m now watching highlights of the golf that I have watched all day 🤷🏽‍♂️🏌🏻

  4. Night all!



    See if I wake up in the morning……………I’ll still be a worried as hell Tim.



    And breath………………………

  5. lets all do the huddle on

    i dont see how a player can be classed as a CB when.he isnt great in the air



    KA has some great qualities, but i dont know what his position is



    but im not the greatest tactician in the world



    im only about 4th or 5th

  6. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Peter Lawwell has passed on his Director of Football role on to…..Dudu Duhan…..seamlessly.

  7. Kristoffer Ajer would obviously stay at Celtic if we were playing against better opposition every week. I thought he played his heart out all the time for Celtic.



    I wish him well and somehow I think his time @ Brentford (if he goes there) will be very short. I’m trusting that Celtic have went high with the sell on clause.



    Let’s just forget about CL fitba this Season as that isnae gonnae happen, I’m not even sure the Europa League will happen.




  8. Reading back, not just over the last couple of days, but in recent times, re the comments by many on here in relation to Kris Ajer, a player who played home and away against Lazio and Lille, and Lord knows how many times at Hampden en route to silverware, makes me wonder whether not only are said posters in any way shape or form football supporters, but indeed any kind of Celtic supporters.


    Not in my book that is for sure.



    Good luck and God speed that young man now and in the future.


    Best wishes big Kris wherever you go…

  9. Go tell the Spartim on

    Now that the CL squad deadline has passed we’ll be basing our chances of success on luck and some miracle working from Ange



    Between us Celtic supporters I’m bricking it at the prospect of whatever GK and back 4 will play .

  10. I also wish big Kris Ajer, all the best


    Never let us down last season, even though he was rumoured as one of those wanting away.



    I wanted Kris offered a new deal as our captain, to try and retain him



    Also thought he would have got a move to a much better club Brentford


    Newcastle, as rumour would have been better for him, had they come up with the transfer fee



    So we have sold Frimpong at rumoured £11.5m


    Elhamed at £1.5m


    Klimala at £3.5m


    Bayo at £2.5


    And now potentially Ajer


    That’s well over £30m if figures reported are correct ( accepting all will not be up front)



    I believe Odsonne, Ryan and hopefully Olivier are still to go if rumours are true- I would expect at least another £18m for those 3 ??


    So will be around £50m taken in sales


    Surely, to God, we can build a decent team for 1/2 of this

  11. Let Ange try and Build something special. As many of the Home Grown Bhoys getting to a Champions League competing First Team would be the Idea.



    Surely if we dinnae dae it now, efter Last Season, we never will.



    Obviously theres likely to be a lot of short term pain in a fitba sense.



    Go for it Ange!!!!



    But we’ve brought in the 2 SW boys and the Israeli .!!!



    The midgies must be bricking themselves as they are apparently in a worse state than us.



  13. SAINT STIVS @ 7:07 PM,



    Well okay, I’ve read your comments in the past and you seemed far too knowledgable and articulate to comment in such a fashion – if you say it wasn’t a dig I’ll of course accept it.



    So are we talking your entrenched views or my entrenched views? I’ll assume mine.



    I was accused of the same thing a few Seasons back when defending certain aspects of Brendan Rodgers tenure (aka the rat) and my discomfort with the PLCs part in disrupting his plans and eventual departure.



    The thing is I only responded to what I saw was unfair criticism of BR and his staff and undeserved platitudes to the Board in that regard.



    I believe over two seasons later fholk are seeing that situation in a much truer light.



    Likewise the perennial issue regarding recruitment, fholk defending Peter Lawwell’s recruitment methods are totally out of order in my opinion – if they voice the opinion PL did a good job in this regard I will certainly counter again, since the Willo Flood (yes him again) the world and his wife has got the blame for bad Celtic signings while the PLC Board take the platitudes for the all too infrequent successes.



    An example – your 7:33 pm, post tells it how it is and Frimpong is much more a typical Big Pedro moneyball deal. We got him cheap with potential, he came good and we made money on him



    An equally but much more prevalent Big Pedro moneyball deal was. We got him cheap with potential he didn’t come good / we didn’t develop him, we lost money on him.



    Failures from Boetrigter, through Guidetti to Arzani just weird waste of time stuff.



    The “moneyball” idea wasn’t a bad idea, in fact in and off itself it was a brilliant idea with top European markets, especially our neighbours spending mad on mediocre talent.



    It was Big Pedro’s moneyball project, we didn’t do it very well at all, it took too much time and resources to the detriment, not the enhancement, of the playing squad.



    Even the mega Bucks gains balanced the losses. Itwas a zero sum gain, recycling money from SBs to the PLC savings account.



    The Kris Ajer model was NOT moneyball, it has a tradition in football as old as the hills. Kenny Dalglish springs to mind.



    You find some young talent, you find a way of convincing them your Clubs the right one for them and they sign, you develop their skill and technique using top coaches, you may send them out on loan, once they are showing some potential you get them in the first team, you try to sign them up to a longer contract, you keep them as long as practically possible, then sell at a high price.



    That was Ajer, it is a tried tested and proven way of getting talent that football has done all my life. It is not moneyball and football aficionados would know this.



    Even moneyball successes such as Frimping how much actual squad and first team benefit did we get from this great success – arguably not as much as Lee Naylor;)



    CELTIC40ME @ 7:18 PM,



    Don’t think so – unless you are being pedantic and pointing out that his official start date was June and not his February signing date. It hardly makes a case for Ronny not being involved does it?






    Hail Hail

  14. lets all do the huddle on

    i have no problem at all with players using us as a stepping stone to go elsewhere



    in fact we have actively encouraged it in recent years



    thats just where scottish football is these days



    but it doesnt look like we can even attract players with that prospect these days

  15. Chris Ajer was one of the few Celtic players(maybe the only one)who stood up to the opposition player who would give a wee hack at our own.



    Don’t mind our model selling players but we are slow at recruiting………hope it’s better than last year.



    Don’t mind our model selling players but we are slow at recruiting.




    Careful now as ever.

  17. Sad if true that Ajer is leaving. Always loved watching him sprint up with the ball out of defence. Reminded me of watching a galloping giraffe.

  18. quadrophenian on

    SAINT STIVS on 15TH JULY 2021 8:31 PM


    PARK ROAD 67 on 15TH JULY 2021 8:26 PM



    we have a winner, pick a prize, any prize, from the free transfer bucket






    HO! Stewards inquiry demanded.



    I’d posted the right – albeit cryptic – answer of HELLAS, long before that. Knew right away it was Ange in his South Melbourne (Melb greek club) playing days. They were known as Sth Melb Hellas (Greece).

  19. quadrophenian on

    Re Kris Ajer.


    Super player mis-shapen by us as a makeshift CB. Skilful, durable, fiery, foraging and – sometimes – found wanting but not for want of trying. We helped ‘make him’ and we’ve got the financial rewards fitting for these covid-compromised times.


    If he thinks he’s playing in the wrong team, wait til he joins Brentford Nylons!!


    They will have a torrid time in the EPL. He’ll most likely get horsed if he plays at CH all the time, which will diminish his stock and value. If he gets a middy spot, he may progress to the heights he aspires to.


    He goes with my best wishes – Ha Det Kris!

  20. Chairbhoy



    “Failures from Boerigter, through Guidetti to Arzani just weird waste of time stuff. ”



    The last two don’t count as they were loan deals and were never ours. They were free to go where they wanted or where their club wanted. Guidetti was signed on loan from City and when he ran his City contract down playing for us, he promptly signed for Celta Vigo on a free even though we wanted him. He never expressed any regret about choosing Celta over Celtic and he never will. Arzani was bought by Man City and immediately loaned out to Celtic,as Man City always intended loaning him out. As with Guidetti there was no agreement to buy as neither the player nor City wanted this. Arzani did his ACL on his debut for Celtic and never established himself during the 2 seasons he spent mostly injured. He has since gone on loan to Utrecht where he managed 4 games and Jong Utrecht in the lower league where he managed only 6 games. He is now on loan in Denmark and has played once. Because of serious injury the boy has played 12 games in his 3 year contracy with Man City. If his signing is an dindictment of Moneyball (and it’s not; it’s the age old story of serious injury preventing a young player fulfilling their potential) it is an indictment of Man City’s Moneyball not ours.



    Not sure About Boerigter too as he was a £3m signing from Ajax, where he had played 30 games in the previous season to when we bought him just before his 27th birthday. He was not an obscure player from an obscure club scouted before the big clubs got round to checking him. He was, undoubtedly, a complete waste of money but he was no indictment of the Moneyball approach, rather he was seen as an established oven-ready player.



    The one who does fit the Moneyball profile, Ajer , is the one you reject as a Moneyball signing. But he was a 16 year old from an unfancied club in an unfancied league and had never played the position we developed for him as a CB.



    Kris fits the Moneyball progile- the other 3 don’t.



    You should have used examples like Amido Balde to better illustrate the waste of money. In his case we were kissing tadpoles not frogs.