Hatem Abd Elhamed’s Celtic start has certainly been impressive, but it looks like being even more so with the reunion he’s had with his family.
The Israeli signed for the Hoops from Hapoel Be’er Sheva over the summer. However, he only just reunited with his family after the Rennes contest on Thursday night.
Elhamed has managed to make himself a mainstay in this Neil Lennon side. He’s won over the Parkhead faithful, and has made the right-back spot his own over the last few weeks.
However, he’s managed to do it all without his family by his side in an impressive show of grit and character. And as he spoke to the Daily Record, Elhamed revealed he’s finally back with them again.
“I haven’t been home yet and that has been tough. My wife and son came over after the Rennes game and it’s the first time that I’d seen them for two months. This is the first time they have come across in that period and I’m very happy for that.
“It is very important. To not be with them for such a long time was very difficult, especially for my son. I am happy that things have now changed and we are together. My son is four years old. He has the full Celtic kit now and is beginning to understand things.
“I FaceTimed him every day and it was emotional for me. I really wanted to get them to Glasgow, to pick them up from the airport. This will help me to be more happy and focused on the games.”
Words can’t really describe the importance of having family by your side during such a challenging period like the one Elhamed is going through. But it says a lot about the man that he’s come through it absolutely flying.
The right-back has spent a couple of months now settling into a new country and having to deal with the pressures that only Glasgow can bring. The fact he’s done so whilst performing to an incredibly high standard tells us a lot about his strength.
And it looks as though Elhamed believes having them over will help his focus. Goodness knows what his game will be like if he becomes even better. And in fairness to the Israeli, the one thing he hasn’t lacked since arriving here is focus.
Already in his eight appearances for the Hoops so far, Elhamed looks like a real upgrade on Mikael Lustig. Mika served us well during his time here, but a lack of pace had ironically caught up with him. It feels as though the Israel international has played a lot more than eight times.
Elhamed has such power and energy that we haven’t had any complaints about the right-back spot all season.
Moritz Bauer is also there to keep the Israeli defender on his toes. However, now that he’s been reunited with his family, it’s difficult to see his game dropping anytime soon.