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Charlotte FC has made its most significant financial investment to their roster by signing Israeli International Liel Abada as a Young Designated Player to their roster.

Abada comes to Charlotte FC on a permanent transfer from Celtic FC in Scotland, for a reported transfer fee of $8 million plus incentives. The 22-year-old recorded 29 goals and 22 assists in all competitions in three seasons at Celtic.

Charlotte FC Head Coach Dean Smith feels excited about Abada joining his front line.

“He’s a player I know well, who will bring creativity into the final third.” Smith said. “To get a player of his caliber and the consistency he’s had is a coup for the club.”

Club General Manager Zoran Krneta feels that the groundwork they laid with Celtic and Abada’s representation moved them to the front of the competitive line for the player.

“We knew about Liel probably about 18 months since he exploded at Celtic, we actually knew about him at Israel,” Krneta said Thursday when speaking about the deal. “He brings goals, assists and speed, and creative solutions in the final third. He’s one of those players who always finds himself in a goal-scoring position. It’s a natural-born talent.”

Krneta also said they wanted to make their next Designated Player signing as a Young DP (under the age of 23) so they could keep themselves available to sign another DP and use its final Under-22 Inititative slot.

“There is no lack of ambition with this club, there’s no lack of trying and there’s no lack of ownership’s willingness to provide the support for us to succeed and win trophies,” said Krneta.

A league source said that they could expect Abada to be in Charlotte and ready to play by the end of March pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa. Abada also has a European Qualifier to play with the Israeli National Team against Iceland on March 21st. He’s received 10 caps and scored one international goal with Israel.