Hatem Abd Elhamed will miss next month’s Betfred Cup final against Rangers, it has emerged.
The Daily Record report that the Israel international is set to miss six weeks after going off late in his side’s famous win over Lazio last week. It was hoped that Elhamed’s injury wouldn’t be as bad as first expected but now it seems like Neil Lennon will be without one of his most trusted men for a considerable period of time.
The right-back may only have joined the club this summer but he has already become a mainstay in big matches. The 28-year-old has only started three of our last nine matches – but they have all been in crunch Europa League clashes.
Elhamed has started every Group E match so far this season while he was also the man chosen at right-back for our win at Ibrox in early September.
Lennon has other options who are ready to step in
On the face of it, the fact we have two able deputies – in Moritz Bauer and Jeremie Frimpong – should lessen the blow of losing Elhamed.
To his credit, Frimpong has rose to every challenge in a Celtic shirt so far. From a start against lower league Partick Thistle, to playing at a packed Hampden on a fervent night – he has come a long way in a short space of time.
Lennon deserves credit for giving each of his right-backs a chance so far this season. That way, neither of them will be going into any upcoming clash cold. It would have been easy for him to stick with Elhamed after seeing how good the Israeli was in his opening few matches.
But Lennon has helped out other players in the position. Thankfully, that means that this setback won’t be felt quite as hard.