Date: 9th August 2019 at 11:51am
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EXCLUSIVE

Jackie McNamara says that Celtic summer signing Hatem Elhamed has put doubts over his ability at right-back to bed with his early performances for the Hoops.

The former Bhoy, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the 28-year-old, who arrived at Parkhead from Hapoel Beer Sheva in July, looks comfortable playing as a full-back despite having operated as a centre half for the majority of his career.

The Israeli international has started the last two games at Celtic on the right-hand side, despite having only featured there for his previous clubs a handful of times.

McNamara says that his early performances should have helped silence any doubters out there, although he did admit that the new arrival will need to improve his fitness levels.

McNamara told Football Insider: “I thought he was solid, he was steady. Looked comfortable on the ball. I thought he was a big plus on the right side. 

“I don’t know how many doubters there were but between the two positions, he looks comfortable. Right-back and centre-half are two massively different positions. I played both and as a right-back you’re up and down, as a centre half you’re covering certain areas, not as much running.

“He did tire, he came off at the weekend as well – maybe it’s getting him up to speed and used to the demands and the intensity.”

Elhamed has replaced former Celtic hero Mikael Lustig at right-back, the Swedish international leaving Glasgow for KAA Gent at the end of his contract this summer.

The 32-year-old played 276 times for the Bhoys during his time at Parkhead, winning eight league titles, four Scottish Cups and four Scottish League Cups.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider can reveal that a senior Celtic ace has told Neil Lennon he wants to quit the club before the month is over.