Celtic Conclude Deal for Israeli Defender but has ‘On Trial’ Simpson a place in Paradise?

NEIL LENNON told BBC Sportsound after the 2-1 win over Sarajevo that Celtic had concluded a deal to sign a player, without naming who he was talking about.

However it seems certain that the next arrival at Celtic Park will be Israeli defender Hatem Abd Elhamed. Reports in Israel confirm that Hapoel Beer Sheva have reached agreement with Celtic for the transfer of their defender who can play at both right back and in central defence.

“Celtic will pay Beer Sheva close to 2 million Euro for Elhamed with a 300k bonus should Celtic advance to the group stages of the Champions League,” Israel Sport Rabbi reports.

While Hatem Abd Elhamed is something of an unknown to the Celtic support – he may prove to be a decent signing for Neil Lennon – so let’s give the guy a chance. However many Celtic Supporters will not be prepared to do that for that controversial character Danny Simpson. The ex-Leicester City right back is notorious for his off the field behaviour – there is a Celtic song about those evil eyes having no place in Paradise, that somehow seems appropriate.

Simpson left Leicester at the end of the season and is currently without a club having played only 8 times last season. He was a regular in the Leicester City that won the league and is clearly a decent player who could give a year or two service. At 32 he is the same age as Mikael Lustig, who was a proven winner at Celtic and was desperate to stay.

If we are replacing a legend like Lustig with a dubious character but decent enough player like Simpson, then the people that run Celtic are becoming a little too remote from the supporters who are the life and soul of this football club.

No! Nae! Never! is the message across the online Celtic community to this development although there are others who reckon that for football reasons alone he’d do a decent job.

Speaking to the press after the win over the Bosnian Champions, Neil Lennon was giving little away.

“I think we’ll have something in the next few days hopefully. It might be a right-back, it might be a left-winger, it might be a centre-forward,” Lenny said as reported by Scottish Sun.

“Right-back is a priority, but we have a number of positions I’d like to strengthen like midfield and one or two attacking areas.

“You don’t want to overcook it either, but we want to add to the quality in the squad that we already have.

“The boys are doing a brilliant job at the minute, but they could do with a little bit of help in terms of strength in depth.”

Are Simpson’s off the field issues being looked at as an opportunity to get a decent player in on the cheap?

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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