Hatem Abd Elhamed’s ability to play in a variety of defensive positions is one reason why Celtic decided to pay £1.7 million for a little-known Hapoel Be’er Sheva defender this summer (the Mail).
Elhamed has made five appearances for The Hoops so far, every one of those coming at right-back, but he is also more than capable of filling in at centre-half, left-back or even in midfield. Food for though then for Neil Lennon should an injury crisis strike.
And the 28-year-old had a whole new role to get used to on Monday night. He played as a left-sided central defender in a back three during Israel’s Euro 2020 qualifier away to Slovenia.
But, if Lennon had any plans to adopt a new-look formation and try out Elhamed on the opposite flank in the months ahead, he might be better of shelving them.
Because the former Gent and Dinamo Bucharest defender didn’t exactly look comfortable in Ljubljana.
Israel’s defence was ripped apart again and again during a 3-2 defeat which could prove to be a hammer blow to their hopes of qualifying for the European Championships next summer.
Elhamed was caught well out of position for Slovenia’s second too, Roman Bezjak ghosting in behind to slot home after a clever through ball left the Celtic newbie brutally exposed.
“We are not professional enough. When I see the third goal, that's the horror. We make such stupid mistakes and lose. This is not funny anymore,” fumed a clearly unhappy Israel coach Andi Herzog after the game, as reported by Deich Stube.
Oh well, at least club football is back this weekend.
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