Hatem Abd Elhamed has been praised and bigged up for his attributes ahead of his imminent Celtic move.
The defender is apparently set for a medical at Celtic Park ahead of a proposed £2million deal (Daily Record). It would see Celtic complete their fourth signing of the summer, as their defence continues to be the subject of a major revamp.
There’s no denying that supporters simply don’t know enough about Elhamed as it stands. Playing with Be’er Sheva, he’s hardly been in our faces over the last couple of years.
But former Israeli star Boni Ginzburg has hailed the prospect of Celtic signing his countryman. Speaking in the Scottish Sun, the former Rangers man listed off his exciting attributes.
“Hatem is strong, quick and fast. I hear Celtic want to play him at right-back, and he has the pace and power to do that. There is no concern over him handling the speed and physical nature of the Scottish game.
“The Premiership is a lot different to Israel. Everything goes quicker and the speed goes up. But Hatem will suit that style of football. His pace will be a real asset for Celtic.
“Technically, he would not be as gifted as Nir Bitton — but he is a lot quicker than him. Hatem has strength and speed, and that will give him a chance to be a success at Celtic. He’s been playing as a centre-half for Be’er Sheva, but he’s also capable as a full-back.”
Elhamed’s Celtic move sorts out one of two key areas
There’s no denying Celtic had to strengthen further this summer on their defence. Even if Elhamed completes his move to Parkhead, they still need a couple more in.
But what the Israeli will do for now is sort out a key position. If Celtic have their eyes on making him a right-back, then this is a huge signing. But what it would also still leave us needing doing is to bring in another right-back and centre-back before the window shuts.
One of the issues we’ve certainly had with our Israeli signings in the past has been their lack of pace. The likes of Nir Bitton, Beram Kayal, and Rami Gershon were certainly never the quickest. But Having an apparent speed-merchant, who can also get to grips with the physical aspect of Scottish football, is a massive boost for us.
It looks as though Celtic are set to have some real pace down both flanks this season. That’s not something we were able to boast last year, with Mikael Lustig and Jonny Hayes not often making lung-bursting overlapping runs.
It sounds as though Elhamed could be one to do just that. Considering how Lennon likes his full-backs to play, we should hopefully see him bombing down the right frequently when you hear about his attributes.
In any case, just getting this deal over the line is another boost to the recruitment. Hopefully, the deal is wrapped up sooner rather than later.