Celtic completed the signing of attacker Luis Palma from Greece Super League side Aris Thessaloniki last night.

Palma has signed a five-year deal at Parkhead after a £3.5m fee for the Honduran international was agreed.

This scouting report will take a closer look at Palma, analysing his data, identifying his playing style, as well as highlighting his key strengths and areas for improvement.

Player Profile

Born in La Cieba, Palma started his professional career with his hometown club Vida. He spent five years with the capital side but did leave Honduras temporarily for a loan spell with third-tier USL Championship side Real Monarchs in 2019 where he made 13 appearances, scoring one goal.  

Palma was then linked with the likes of Braga and Levante before he made the move to Greece in January 2022 to sign for Aris.

Capped six times by Honduras, Palma made his full international debut in October 2021 and previously represented his country at both the 2017 Under-17 World Cup and the 2019 Under-20 World Cup.

After making 11 appearances in the second half of the 2021/22 season following his move to Greece, scoring two goals, he then enjoyed a breakout year last season, scoring 11 league goals (ten non-penalty), and laying on a further four as Aris finished fifth.

He has carried his form into the start of this season too, with two goals and three assists in Aris’ four Europa Conference League qualifier matches and their opening league game.

A versatile forward, Palma played most of his minutes last season - in all competitions - on the left wing (1,089 minutes) but he was used as a centre forward (819 minutes) and as a central attacking midfielder (327 minutes) too.

In terms of what formations Palma played in last season, he often occupied the left midfield/left wing position in Aris’ favoured 4-2-3-1 formation but did take up the centre-forward role at times too. According to Wyscout, Aris also favoured a 4-4-2 shape last season - with Palma again taking up the left midfield position - as well as one of the two centre-forward positions on occasion.  

At 5’11”, the predominately right-footed Palma is on the taller side for a winger. He is taller than early season first-team picks in that area, Liel Abada (5’6”) and Daizen Maeda (5’8”), and he also measures taller than the club’s two other wide player signings this summer in Yang (5’9”) and Marco Tilio (5’7”).

In terms of other physical attributes, he has an average build, while he possesses good acceleration and decent top speed, with and without the ball.

Data Analysis

The above chart uses Wyscout per-90 data converted into percentile ranks to compare Palma to other forwards, including wingers and centre-forwards (given he has spent time in both positions), in the 2022/23 Super League Greece (minimum 1,000 minutes played). This can start to build a clearer picture of his playing style. The chart is split into three sections and includes several key attacking, possession and defending metrics.

In the attacking section - although he played more minutes out wide - Palma’s impressive goal-scoring record (0.55 per 90), and his decent number of assists (0.2 per 90), see him score in the 96th percentile for his combined goal contributions of 0.75 per 90.

Although he also ranks well for his expected goal contributions, his numbers are not quite as high in this regard, mostly down to an overperformance on his xG. Palma generated 0.25 xG per 90, compared to his actual output of 0.55. His expected assists (xA), of 0.22 per 90 was around his actual assists of 0.19 per 90.

Palma was a high-volume shooter in comparison to his positional peers in Greece last season, attempting 2.95 per 90 (93rd percentile), with his on-target percentage of 47.46 per cent also scoring in the top quarter. For crosses, Palma was just below the 75th percentile for his volume (2.4 per 90) and posted an impressive accuracy rate of 45.83 per cent, one of the highest in the dataset. Finally - on his attacking section - Palma scores in the 30th percentile for his 2.2 touches in the box per 90.

Looking at the possession section, Palma scores above average for all the volume metrics which, given Aris averaged 55 per cent possession last season - the fourth highest in the league - is to be somewhat expected. He ranks particularly highly for his volume of dribbles (5.31 per 90), but scores in the bottom quartile for his dribbles completed percentage (42.45 per cent).

His progressive runs - a carry that takes a player’s team considerably closer to the goal - of 1.85 per 90, was above average for a Super League Greece forward, whilst his progressive passes (4.96 per 90) ranked in the top quartile too. For dangerous passes - a combination of key passes and through passes - Palma ranked in the 92nd percentile, registering 2 per 90 (0.65 key passes per 90, 1.35 through passes per 90).

The last section - defending - shows Palma just below the bottom quartile mark for the number of defensive duels he was involved in compared to other forwards in Greece’s top flight last season (3.25 per 90). His success rate of 49.23 per cent is also just inside the bottom quartile.

Finally - on his percentile rank chart - Palma’s 3.21 PAdj interceptions per 90 in last season’s campaign placed him just above the average mark for a forward in the league.


Palma’s output in terms of goals and assists certainly stood out in his percentile rank chart. The below shot map from Wyscout - which maps Palma’s last 75 shots - can give further insight into his shooting, though.

Here, we can see he looks to have a good conversion rate inside the box, but the highest concentration of Palma’s shots have come from outside the box, mostly in the left half-space as he cuts in from the left. He does have three goals from outside the box in the last year - and a further smattering on target - so he is clearly capable from distance. However, many of these are from low-quality positions which indicates poor decision-making when it comes to shot selection. Something highlighted by his relatively low 0.08 xG per shot. For balance, this is a similar value, according to StatsBomb, that Jota registered for his xG per shot in the SPFL Premiership last season. It is less than the likes of Maeda (0.16 xG per shot) and Abada (0.17 xG per shot) averaged last season.

Palma does have high-quality ball-striking technique, though. He strikes the ball cleanly and with power, such as in the below example where he finds the far bottom corner from the angle of the box.

His excellent ball-striking abilities have seen him become something of a set-piece specialist too - highlighted by his several free-kick goals last season - even scoring directly from a corner in a game against Olympiacos, as shown below.

His set-pieces and most of his shots from open-play come from his stronger right, but Palma has also shown an ability to finish with his left too, such as in the below example where he connected perfectly to volley in at the back post with his weaker foot.

His ability from dead balls has also seen him become Aris’ main corner-kick taker. However, he does not rely solely on set pieces when it comes to his chance creation. Three of his four league assists last season came from directly open play, the other from the second phase of a corner.

As seen in his percentile rank chart, Palma showed up well for his crossing accuracy, and there are many examples of the Honduran creating decent quality goal-scoring chances from his crosses in open play.

As well as accuracy, he shows nice creativity in his crosses, such as the below example when he slid a low cross across the box with the outside of his right to the back post for his teammate to finish.


Palma offers more than just goals and assists; he also plays his part in possession. Consistent with his ball-striking, Palma’s general technical ability is of a good level, meaning he is capable of dropping deeper to help facilitate build-up.

The below scatter shows - even in the context of Aris having more of the ball than most in the league - that Palma played a fairly active role in ball progression last season. He registered 4.10 successful progressive passes per 90 and - as mentioned - completed 1.85 progressive runs per 90, both above average for a Super League Greece forward.

He has quite a decent range of passing, too, and is capable of producing some nice switches of play that can change the angle of attack. He also showed up well in terms of more attacking passing metrics in the percentile rank chart with the below example showcasing Palma at his most dangerous in possession.

Here, he showed good movement off the ball, dropping infield from the left to receive a forward pass in the middle of the pitch.

He then executed a nice bit of skill, chopping the ball past his opponent on the inside of him, opening up space in behind their midfield line. Palma then showed good awareness, lifting his head to slide in his teammate for a chance.

As just seen, Palma is capable of producing a bit of skill to beat his man. However, he is more likely to knock the ball down one side of his direct opponent and then use his quick burst of pace in 1v1 situations. An example of this is shown below.

Here, Palma drives infield from the left with the ball, standing up his man as he comes infield. He then knocks the ball forward with his right down the outside of his man. This creates enough space for Palma to chip a ball to the back post which was headed in by a teammate on this occasion.

When it comes to his dribbling in general, it is not so much Palma’s technical ability, again it is more - like his shooting - a decision-making issue. He can hold onto the ball too long at times or knock the ball too far in front of himself when trying to beat a man.

The final point to make on Palma in possession is that on occasion his first touch can let him down a bit. Tidying up in that regard would be another area of his game to further develop going forward.


Palma’s defensive numbers didn’t rank too favourably compared to his positional peers in his percentile rank chart but - watching him off-the-ball on video - he does show a willingness to track back. However, he could certainly be more aggressive in defensive phases deeper in his own half. Often he gets close to an opponent but is then too passive.

He is much more effective off-the-ball higher up the pitch. In these situations, he uses his pace to good effect to press well from the front. There are some examples of Palma’s pressing leading to turnovers in dangerous areas in and around the box during his time in Greece - such as the below where he followed in on the goalkeeper - after pressing the centre-back, to force a loose pass that led to a shot on goal for Aris.

Showing more of that kind of aggression in deeper phases of play would make Palma a more effective off-the-ball overall.


Palma is an interesting addition, offering something a bit different to the current wide options at Brendan Rodgers’ disposal, especially on the left. His pace, coupled with his size, offers a slightly more athletic alternative in the wide positions, while his excellent ability from set plays will certainly be welcome. His versatility, particularly in filling in at centre-forward is a bonus too.

He has decent technical ability and always seems involved in games, making him a ‘busy’ player. There is no doubt he has areas of his game to work on though, his decision-making being the biggest one. Still only 23, hopefully - under the tutelage of Rodgers and his coaching staff - Palma can improve in those areas of his game in the coming months and years.

In the short term, Palma’s current ability - coupled with Celtic’s struggles to create in the last few weeks - should still see him make an immediate impact on the squad. Whether he can go on to hit the heights of someone like Jota, only time will tell.