Door of opportunity opens for Hatem Elhamed; Celtic defender has never lost a domestic game

By David Walton

November 10, 2020

There aren’t any positives you can take from the Jeremie Frimpong situation, but moving forward, this could open up a door of opportunity for Hatem Elhamed that’s been sealed shut for some time.

Frimpong could be out for a substantial period after taking a shocking challenge at Fir Park from Motherwell’s Devante Cole. Neil Lennon stated after the match that he feared Frimpong had suffered ligament damage (Glasgow Times)

Whilst there has, as of yet, been no confirmation that Frimpong will be out for months or anything like it, you automatically fear the worst. But if he is to sit on the sidelines and be forced to go through a substantial recovery period, it really does give Elhamed the opportunity to shine.

Remember, Hatem was signed by Lennon last summer with a view to being the number one right-back at Parkhead. That only lasted a couple of months as Frimpong shot out of nowhere and wowed everyone with his pace and efficiency. All of a sudden, Elhamed was on the outside looking in, with a long-term injury then keeping him out for the majority of last season.

Elhamed only ended last term having played 14 games, and to this day he’s still yet to start over three matches consecutively for the Hoops since September 2019.

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This year it’s often been the same story. Whilst the Israeli international has featured on 11 occasions, he’s only started four of the club’s 12 Premiership games (Transfermarkt). Again, that’s simply been down to the fact Frimpong has been our main outlet on the right.

Elhamed has made an impact this season

But Elhamed has still shown flashes this season. Remember, it was his beautiful assist for Leigh Griffiths at St Johnstone that stopped us from dropping two crucial points in Perth. Another pinpoint delivery from him ensured Moi Elyounoussi bagged a hat-trick on Sunday at Fir Park.

He’s carrying on from where he left off last season before being usurped. Elhamed starred in big games against the likes of Rangers, Rennes, and Lazio (x2) to name but a few. He was absolutely flying before Frimpong took his place.

Hatem Elhamed in action against Sparta Prague (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

In addition to that, Elhamed can also boast that he’s never lost a domestic game either. He’s now played in 15 of them, and not one has seen him come out on the losing side. In fact, even better, he’s won as many as 14 of them.

So it’s clear the Israeli has confidence at this level. He’s yet to be given a prolonged run in the team for over 12 months now. Should Frimpong remain out, now is Hatem’s big chance to shine in Glasgow.

In other news, the Celtic fans are excited about a potential return after one of our key stars published a promising Instagram video.