Celtic have agreed (The Scottish Sun) terms with Israel’s defender Hatem Abd Elhamed but are facing a tough time in arranging a work permit to finalise a deal. Israel’s head coach Andreas Herzog and sports director Willi Rotensteiner are said to be looking into the matter and are trying to get the deal over the line.
Many reports suggest that he is being seen as a right-back option given that Celtic have no natural senior fullback for that position after the likes of Mikael Lustig, Jeremy Toljan and Cristian Gamboa departed in the summer. Kristoffer Ajer has so far filled in that role, and he has done well in an unfamiliar position.
Abd Elhamed is predominantly a centre back, and he has played most of his football in that position. He hasn’t even played ten games as right back in his career. Last season he was tried in that position on four occasions, and he did a decent job. However, we think that asking him to become a permanent right-sided fullback for Celtic will be too big a task for the defender.
Why is he being thought of as a right-back?
The 28-year-old is known to have impressive on the ball qualities, and he can carry the ball forward from the back. Abd Elhamed has even filled in as a defensive midfielder due to his ability to pass out from the back. In fact, he has had more experience of playing as a defensive midfielder than as a right back in his career.
Why is Lennon making a mistake?
Fullbacks are one of the most demanding and dynamic positions on the pitch in the modern-day. They need to make overlapping runs to support their teams in attack and link-up play as well. Along with that, they need to be at their best defensively, be robust and full of energy throughout the game.
We think that Lennon is going for mediocrity instead of signing a proper long term right back. Abd Elhamed should only be seen as somewhat of a backup right back at best. We clearly feel that the board is making a mistake by not bringing in a standout option this summer.
Fans should also be disappointed as the club is spending just £1.6m for a position which has needed reinforcement for over a year now. We obviously don’t want the player to badly at Celtic, but this signing has Marvin Compper vibes all over it.
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