According to a recent interview conducted by Football Insider, former Premier League ace Alan Hutton has issued a sympathetic statement about the predicament that Israeli Celtic defender Hatem Abd Elhamed currently finds himself in. The Scottish Sun had revealed a few days ago that he was actually struggling to settle into life in Scotland, and that he was missing his wife and kids who are now back in their home country after spending a while in Glasgow. The defender is said to be extremely homesick, and this has seemingly begun to reflect in his performances in training and during matches as well.
Although it has been revealed that Alan Hutton sympathises with Celtic defender Hatem Abd Elhamed, whether or not the full-back is allowed to depart the club in January remains to be seen. Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton said, “It’s really difficult, very, very difficult. When you’re not feeling good at home, it’s very difficult to come into work and have that smile on your face and play to the best of your ability. I read the other week that his wife and child were back home in Israel and he’s obviously here so I just try and flip it into my situation – if I was in a foreign country on my own, away from my family, all I’d want to do is get back. It’s as simple as that.”
What Is Celtic’s Current Right-Back Situation?
Neil Lennon has two very different kind of options to choose from in the centre-half role, with talented young defender Jeremie Frimpong in the mix for the same spot as well. Despite the presence of two quality names that a lot of the bigger clubs in Europe would love to have, the manager has dealt with splitting their playing time quite well. Frimpong is undoubtedly first-choice at Parkhead though, and this alone is sure to have had an impact on Elhamed from a footballing perspective. On top of not playing regularly, to spend time away from family as well, would take its toll on any individual in football.
What Does Elhamed Offer To This Celtic Team?
Unlike Frimpong, whose primary tendency is always to get forward and create chances, Elhamed offers a much more calm and composed presence, especially during defensive situations. Standing at just under 1.9m tall, the Israeli is a lot taller than the run of the mill right back, and this only adds to his defensive acumen. Capable of winning headers in key areas of the pitch, Elhamed’s physicality makes him a good option in fixtures against teams that like to press. A good tackler of the ball, he even has the quality required to produce some excellent crosses from wide.
Hutton Sympathises With Celtic Defender Hatem Abd Elhamed: Should Lennon Cash In?
As it stands, Celtic are struggling to keep up with Rangers in the race for the Premiership title. The injury to James Forrest has been an ongoing one for a while now, and to say that they’ve struggled to replace him in the eleven would only be an understatement. In such a situation, to sell one of only two realistic right-back options, would be nothing short of suicidal by the Parkhead club. Despite being 29-years-old, Elhamed offers good energy and drive when defending, while his attacking play isn’t the worst in the world by any stretch either. Losing a player midway through the season is never easy, but considering the gap between themselves and Rangers in first place, Lennon should look to keep hold of as many resources as he humanely can.