Who is Manor Solomon? The Israeli winger signed by Spurs

The 23-year-old from Kfar Saba has Sephardi and Ashkenazi roots


Israel's midfielder Manor Solomon (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the 2022 Qatar World Cup European Qualifiers football match between Israel and Austria at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, on September 4, 2021. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel might not be the first country you think of when it comes to footballing talent, but a fair few Israeli players in top-flight history have made their mark on the game.

Yossi Benayoun, Tal Ben Haim, and Eyal Berkovic are among the few Israelis who have played and succeeded in the Premier League. But soon another young Israeli could be added to their ranks. Manor Solomon, a 23-year-old from Kfar Saba in central Israel has just completed his debut season playing for Fulham and is now believed to be headed to the Tottenham stadium.

Solomon, who was born in 1999, got his start in football at the age of 17, when he made his professional debut for Israeli premier league side Maccabi Petah Tikva in November 2016. He scored his first goal for the club a few months later, against Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv.

In his second season at the club, he was named by UEFA as a young player to watch, and ended the season with four goals. After 3 successful seasons at Petah Tikva, the young Israeli was sold to one of Ukraine's best teams - Shakhtar Donetsk. Solomon scored his first UEFA Champions League goal for the club, becoming the youngest Israeli player to ever score in the competition, at the tender age of 20.

Solomon continued to make an impact at Donetsk, scoring against top-tier clubs like Real Madrid in the Champions League. But, in March 2022, when war broke out in the country, FIFA allowed players at Ukrainian clubs to suspend their contracts to move out of the warzone.

In March of 2022, Solomon posted a message on Instagram describing how he managed to flee the country and make it back to Israel. He wrote: “My heart goes out to the people who are still there and unable to get through, I wish I could help,”

“My heart is with the Israeli and Ukrainian citizens who are still stuck in the country and of course with all my teammates, take care of yourselves.”

“After more than 10 hours of queuing with luggage in a crowd of people, the phone call I was waiting for arrived and I was happy to get into a car that had another Israeli family rescued, and together we crossed the border. Huge thanks to everyone who tried their best to help me, really appreciate it.”

In July 2022, Solomon was welcomed to West London by Premier League minnows Fulham, who described the youngster as "A lively, forward-thinking attacker."

Solomon made his debut for Fulham against Liverpool on August 6 2022 and scored his first goal a few months later in a 2-0 defeat of Nottingham Forest at Craven Cottage. His season continued to improve and in February of 2023, he became the first Israeli player since Ronny Rosenthal to score in three successive Premier League games.

In the 2023 transfer window, it was reported by the transfer pundit Fabrizio Romano that Solomon had reached a deal with Tottenham Hotspurs and that he would be joining the club subject to medicals and a release from his Shakhtar Donetsk contract.

Solomon has Portuguese citizenship through his Sephardi roots, and is believed to be a more attractive prospect for European clubs than other Israeli players as a result. He also has Mizrahi and Ashkenazi ancestry through his parents Ayala and Yossi, PE teachers in Israel who met at the famous Ohalo college.

Last month, Shakhtar Donetsk boss Sergei Palkin threatened to sue Spurs if they pursued Solomon, telling ESPN: "I contacted Solomon and his agent and invited him back to our club,"

"If you go to Tottenham, we will deal with Tottenham in court in this case. Everything comes to a simple situation: it sounds like unjust enrichment.

"Can you imagine, we pay big money for this player and finally Tottenham receives him for free? It is not fair in respect of our club. We will definitely go to court and we will fight for ourselves."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive