Alan Hutton has expressed his sympathy for Hatem Abd Elhamed after the Celtic star confessed he has struggled to settle in Glasgow.
The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted the Israeli star would not be able to deliver his best either on the training ground or on matchday while he is homesick.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, the 29-year-old revealed he was finding it difficult to be away from his wife and son after they left Glasgow to return to Israel earlier this year.
The newspaper report there are three teams from the Israeli top-flight interested in signing Elhamed ahead of the January transfer window.
Speaking from first-hand experience, Hutton insisted a foreign player is not able to deliver his all if he is unhappy at a club and admitted he would find it difficult if he was in the Celtic star’s shoes.
Hutton told Football Insider: “It’s really difficult, very, very difficult. You can see it sometimes on players faces, their family aren’t over, they find it hard.
“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.
“So I do understand from that point of view, he wants to be family and it’s a real tough place to be in at the moment for him, especially when you’re a footballer so I do feel his pain.”
Elhamed, who can play at both right-back and centre-back, signed for Celtic back in 2019 and has a contract which runs until 2023.
He has played 14 times across all competitions under Neil Lennon this season, with nine of those coming among the starting XI.