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Israel's rising soccer star is being pursued by Europe’s top clubs – now Britain's Aston Villa shows interest

Oskar Gloukh may soon represent Israel in the world's top league

Oscar Gloukh of FC Red Bull Salzburg looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between Real Sociedad and FC Red Bull Salzburg at Reale Arena on Nov. 29, 2023, in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo: IMAGO/Ricardo Larreina Amador via Reuters Connect)

Oscar Gloukh is Israeli soccer’s rising star and his brilliant performances for Red Bull Salzburg in Austria have awakened the appetites of several clubs in Europe’s top leagues, including the UK's Aston Villa Football Club (AVFC).

The club from Birmingham, England might even try to nab Gloukh during the upcoming winter break without waiting until the end of the season, sources told the Football Insider blog.

“The 19-year-old is regarded as a top young player and is one of the highest-rated talents in Europe,” according to the blog.

“A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Villa see the Israel international as a player with ‘top potential’.”

Gloukh joined the Austrian soccer club in January 2023, leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv FC for a fee of 7€ million (over USD 7.5 million).

However, Salzburg wasn’t the only club interested in Gloukh, as Spanish giant FC Barcelona also expressed interest in Israel's star player.

“In the end, I think we made the right decision to go to Salzburg and not to Barcelona. It makes more sense for my development as a player,” Gloukh said.

And develop he did. He has since played in 41 games for the Salzburg team, scoring eight goals and assisting on seven more.

He has even played five matches in the Champions League, scoring twice.

Gloukh's athletic abilities are very versatile. He has mostly been featured as an offensive midfielder or a false nine but has been effective in a deeper midfield role or on the wings.

His dazzling performance this past year brought him into focus for the British Premier League’s rising team this season, Aston Villa (AVFC).

Under its new coach Unai Emery, the AVFC team recently gained a victory over last season's top two teams and now sits in third place after 16 games.

The AVFC seems to believe the Israeli 'wunderkind' player could give it a boost to reach the top by the end of the season. If so, it would be the first time since Israeli soccer legend Yossi Benayoun that a soccer player from the Jewish state is given an opportunity to become a star in the world’s top league.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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