Hatem Abd Elhamed’s Israel prospects have clearly taken a big boost since his move to Celtic.
Before the Hoops signed him from Hapoel Be’er Sheva during the summer, one of the potential concerns was his international record. Elhamed had only managed one single appearance for Israel at the age of 28. You can see why concerns would’ve been there.
However, in fairness to him, he only got his big move to Hapoel back in 2017 after a failed spell at Gent. And it appears that after sealing a deal at Parkhead, it’s instantly helped his international prospects.
Elhamed played the entire 90 minutes of Israel’s 1-1 home draw against North Macedonia on Thursday night. Interestingly, he also played as a left-sided centre-back in a back five. That follows on from his centre-back spot he occupied at Be’er Sheva and for the closing stages of Sunday’s Glasgow derby.
But considering his only other international outing had been against Poland back in June as a late sub, his stock has clearly risen.
Will Elhamed keep his place tonight?
Israel travel to Slovenia tonight looking to keep their qualification dream alive. Group G is an incredibly tight one as it stands. Poland top it with 12 points, whilst Austria sit second in ninth. Israel and Slovenia, meanwhile, are tied on eight points. Tonight’s clash is simply huge.
And it will be a big hint as to how much faith Israel manager Andi Herzog has in Elhamed. Considering Austria are away to Poland tonight, it’s a huge chance for Elhamed to potentially help his team move up to second.
But in the bigger picture, the last few days must’ve been a dream for the new Celtic signing. He’s finally back in the international fold and managing to get his first start on the board. Considering how well he’s played since joining the Hoops, you have to imagine that will continue tonight in Slovenia.
Elhamed has done himself no harm with his performance at Ibrox on Sunday. The 2-0 success was simply incredible, as he kept the likes of Sheyi Ojo, Joe Aribo, and Alfredo Morelos quiet. Nothing fazed him, and considering the tension that derby contains, he fully deserves his international opportunities.
All eyes will now be on whether he gets the nod tonight. If he does, it’s even more evidence that the Israel camp value his Celtic move highly.