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‘AN ABSOLUTE HONOUR,’ NEW BHOY

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ISRAELI defender Hatem Abd Elhamed sealed his four-year deal with Celtic today and said it is “an absolute honour” to join the champions.

The £1.6million switch from Hapoel Be’er Sheva finally got the go-ahead after work permit and visa issues were settled, as CQN reported at the weekend.

Abd Elhamed could prove the instant solution to Neil Lennon’s right-back problem position, but the versatile operator can also play at centre-back. The Hoops boss has been searching to strengthen the No.2 spot since Mikael Lustig, Cristian Gamboa and Jeremy Toljan left the club at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old, speaking to the Celtic website, admitted: “It is an absolute honour to sign for this great club, one of the world’s truly great football clubs and I could not be happier.

“When you play football you want to climb to the top and be the best you can be. I know that I have found the best place for me – a club that has a tradition of playing quick, attacking, exciting and successful football and I am delighted that I am going to be part of this.

”Celtic is my club now and I want to do all I can to continue to bring success to our supporters.

“I know the Celtic fans are the best around and I can’t wait to meet them, to pull on the famous Celtic jersey and play in front of them. I will give everything to the club.”

The defender has one full cap for his country and Lennon added: “We are really pleased to bring Hatem to Celtic, another player we think can make an important contribution to the club.

“He is a player with real attributes, he is strong and quick and I have been impressed with what I have seen of him. We look forward to welcoming him to Celtic and joining up with the squad.”

The Parkhead gaffer only had Scotland Under-21 Anthony Ralston as his recognised right-sided defender before the arrival of the Israeli.

Lennon, however, has hinted he may be in the market for another full-back who can play on the right flank.

DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Nomme Kalju tonight – only in your champion CQN.

 
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