Latest Elhamed injury could hand Celtic chance to Lee O'Connor

By John Reid

January 10, 2020

Celtic right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed hasn’t had the greatest luck when it comes to injuries. The player was just on the way back to fitness after a lengthy absence and now Neil Lennon has revealed that he has picked up a new groin injury in Dubai, which could keep him out for action for ‘a few weeks’.

The knock-on effect of the injury means that Jeremie Frimpong and Moritz Bauer will be battling it out for the right-back position. However, perhaps it could lead to a first-team opportunity for a player yet to make the breakthrough into the squad.

That player is Hoops defender Lee O’Connor, who joined the club on a long-term deal from Manchester United on the summer transfer window deadline day.

Can play in any position in defence

(Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

O’Connor can play in any position in defence, at centre-back and at both left and right-back. That could lead to him challenging Bauer and Frimpong in the Celtic squad, in the short-term at least.

Neil Lennon won’t be afraid to give O’Connor a chance, inexperience doesn’t seem to be a barrier. For example, look at how well Frimpong has done since he broke into the first-team.

O’Connor’s performances have already been rewarded in the international arena. He recently made his senior Ireland debut in the 3-1 win over New Zealand, after a long spell playing for the Irish under-21 side.

Player’s versatility could suit him

(Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

At the moment O’Connor is a regular for Celtic’s reserve side. However, now could be the chance for him to make his impact in the first-team.

The good thing for the player is that his versatility could suit him, as he can also be used at left-back and centre-back once Elhamed returns from injury.

Injury issues led to Frimpong’s debut for Celtic, and since then he hasn’t looked back. Perhaps the same thing will happen for Lee O’Connor? It would be an unexpected boost for the Hoops if he did.