BERAM KAYAL became one of Neil Lennon’s best signings for Celtic first time around when the 22-year-old midfielder arrived in July 2010.
The Israel international, who cost £1.25million from Maccabi Haifa, could be relied upon to put in a solid display in the engine room of the team with the ability to win challenges and hit accurate passes.
Kayal made a winning debut in a 2-0 success over Utrecht in a Europa League qualifier at Parkhead, but he suffered ultimate despair as the team cashed 4-0 in the away leg in the Netherlands.
ACTION MAN…Beram Kayal attempts an acrobatic shot at goal.
He took over from suspended captain Scott Brown for a league game at Ibrox on January 2 the following year and once again delivered a convincing performance as two goals from Georgios Samaras gave Lennon’s men a 2-0 victory.
The hard-working anchorman’s timing proved to be excellent when he scored his first goal for the club, the only strike in a win over St Johnstone in Perth on April 12. He repeated the feat the following month with a howitzer-like effort in a 4-2 victory over Dundee United for his first goal in Glasgow.
The fans had taken to Kayal by the time he was stricken by injury following a wayward challenge from Lee McCulloch in the Glasgow derby on December 28 2011. The Celt was furious and claimed afterwards: “I believe he did it on purpose. That player is not the cleanest in the world.”
The midfield man was sidelined until the last game of the campaign when he came on for a cameo appearance as he replaced skipper Brown. Unfortunately, Kayal struggled to find the form that had previously made him a first pick for the manager.
He did produce a matchwinning goal and superb display against Ajax at Parkhead, but the curse of injuries returned and he became something of a bit-part performer at Parkhead.
Kayal rarely figured after Ronny Deila took over from Lennon in the summer of 2014 and, following four titles and two Scottish Cups, he moved to Brighton on a free during the January transfer window.
SILVER SMILES…Beram Kayal beams as he holds the Premiership trophy.
He left with the words: “I would like to thank the Celtic fans for the tremendous support they gave me throughout my time with the club.
“They are amazing fans, committed to the team and they were incredibly supportive to me all through my time in Glasgow.
“I will see them all soon. I will be back to watch Celtic in the future – as the club will always be in my heart – and I wish everybody at the club the very best for the future.”
The industrious Israeli played his part in the south-coast club’s promotion in April 2017. He was a regular first-teamer before he was sent on loan to Charlton for the 2019/20 season.
Kayal, now 35, quit Brighton June that year to return to his homeland with top-flight Bnei Sakhnin where he is under contract until June 2025.
* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the adventures of another former Celt in CQN’s EXCLUSIVE series.