Celtic manager hails the impressive Hatem Abd Elhamed's performance vs KR Reykjavik
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has stated that he was delighted with the performance of the returning Hatem Elhamed.
The Israeli right-back made his first start for the club in 2020 during our 6-0 rout of KR Reykjavik last night. Elhamed also bagged two assists as two terrific crosses led to goals number two and four respectively.
Elhamed has often had to watch on over the last 10 months as Jeremie Frimpong was selected ahead of him. However, Hoops boss Lennon has admitted the defender has been “knocking at his door” for more minutes.
Speaking to Celtic TV post-match, Lennon said: “Very pleased. It’s a great ball by Hatem (for goal number four), I thought he was very good tonight. He looked strong and it was nice to see him back getting 90 minutes under his belt.
“He’s been knocking on the door and obviously with him and Jerie (Frimpong) you’ve got a good two to pick from.”
Hatem gives Lennon an immediate dilemma
Lennon now has a massive dilemma heading into Saturday’s clash against Dundee United at Tannadice. He may also have an even bigger one regarding who his first-choice right-back now is.
Elhamed only played 14 times last season as he regularly found himself on the bench (Transfermarkt). Based on last night, that’s not something we should be seeing again as the season progresses.
Frimpong, meanwhile, struggled to get going at Rugby Park in what was a poor performance from the Dutchman in his last match. At just 19, consistency will always be a challenge for the former Man City youngster.
Therefore, Lennon should be thinking about rotating the pair more often this season. Elhamed adds massive value to this Celtic team, and is arguably more of a full package than his right-back rival.
Frimpong’s youth and potential are key reasons as to why Celtic shouldn’t be stalling his progress. However, at the same time, this is the 10-in-a-row season, and no prisoners should be taken.
Elhamed undoubtedly shot himself into contention last night. It’s down to the manager to decide whether it was a good enough display to keep Frimpong on the bench.