"The best defender in Israel"; Be'er Sheva on Hatem Elhamed, Celtic will receive £800k

By John McGinley

February 7, 2021

Hatem Elhamed will return to former club Hapoel Be’er Sheva after leaving Celtic.

Neil Lennon confirmed the Israeli defender was on his way out of the Celtic Park yesterday in a post-match interview.

At the time it was unknown which club he was off to.

The Scottish Sun reports he had a choice of four – Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Maccabi Haifa, Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Ultimately he’s chosen his old side. They’re delighted to be bringing him in on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Head Coach Yossi Abukasis said: “We are very happy that Hatem has chosen to return here.

“For me, he is a great guy and we think we have signed the best defender in Israel, so we are looking forward to him playing for us again.”

The paper also states that Celtic will receive an £800k fee for the player.

That’s a decent return considering the circumstances. However, it is still half of the original £1.6m fee we paid for him in 2019.

Elhamed’s time at Celtic will go down as a disappointment overall but, at one point, he did threaten to be a good option for us.

Celtic defender Hatem Elhamed / (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Family reasons appear to have come to the fore here, so we can’t blame him for wanting to go home. Unfortunately he, or they, just couldn’t settle in Scotland.

Hopefully, the club are hard at work trying to secure a permanent replacement, with loan signing Jonjoe Kenny due to return to Everton this summer as it stands.

In other news, Marian Shved continues to rack up the wins in Belgium.