Report: Celtic pull Danny Simpson trial
Danny Simpson’s Celtic trial has reportedly been scrapped with the Hoops set to tie up a deal for Hatem Abd Elhamed.
According to the Scottish Sun, the right-back was set for a trial starting today. But, with Celtic apparently closing in on the signing of the Israeli defender, they now have their first choice.
It’s not quite clear as to why the trial has been written off. The Scottish Sun believes that Simpson himself didn’t fancy being an understudy to Elhamed. But if he impressed during his trial and won a contract, surely the pair would both be battling it out to impress Neil Lennon.
The Scottish Sun also believes that Lennon is still looking for further cover at right-back. He apparently wants another in as well as Elhamed, but it looks as though that most certainly won’t be Simpson.
Danny Simpson’s Celtic trial was controversial to begin with
Not everyone was keen on giving Simpson a chance to impress at Parkhead given his past. But in terms of his footballing ability and attitude, it’s a shame that he wasn’t willing to try and prove himself to Lennon.
It’s also interesting to see Celtic apparently label Elhamed as their first-choice right-back. If that’s true, it could put off other targets coming if they are of the same mind as Simpson in that they aren’t willing to deputise or compete.
At the very least, it shows intent from Lennon to make sure we have two right-backs in as soon as possible. It will also hopefully push the club into spending some more money into the position as opposed to looking for freebies.
There haven’t been any other right-backs linked to the club in recent times. The George Baldock speculation appears to have died down, and there’s no sight of a second one pending should Elhamed complete his arrival.
For cover as it stands, Celtic still have Kristoffer Ajer and Anthony Ralston. When the competition gets more intense, however, that shouldn’t be a route that Lennon wants to go down.
The news of Simpson’s trial will likely bring out a mixed reaction from the support. But, at the end of the day, if he wasn’t willing to fight for his place, then Celtic are quite right to turn him away.