Elhamed looks set to be handed Celtic debut in league curtain raiser
It looks like recent Celtic signing Hatem Abd Elhamed will make his Hoops debut in Saturday’s league curtain raiser against St Johnstone.
The right-back, who recently joined the Hoops in a £1.6 million deal from Hapoel Be’er Sheva, is available for selection for the game, according to manager Neil Lennon.
He made the announcement on the club’s Twitter account.
🗣️ NL: "@StJohnstone have given us difficult games. I expect that to be the same tomorrow. Bayo is fit and in the squad, as is Shved. Hatem is in the squad as well."
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 2, 2019
The St Johnstone game seems like an ideal match for Elhamed to make his debut in. The Perth side are in a poor run of form, and are not expected to put up too much of a challenge at Celtic Park.
Use match to get used to Scottish football
Elhamed can use the game to get used to Scottish football, and perhaps attack as much as defend. The Hoops are also in the middle of a suspension crisis for the game. Both Jozo Simunovic and Christopher Jullien are set to miss the game.
That means that Kristoffer Ajer, who has been mostly playing at right-back this season, will return to his natural centre-back role.
Needs game time before Cluj match
Elhamed needs game time before the Hoops take on Cluj on Wednesday night. That game will be extremely tough. It is not the sort of game that you want to make your debut in.
Therefore, it would be a good idea for Elhamed to feature against St Johnstone. Even if his fitness dictates that he only lasts an hour, that would be good enough for a debut.