Neil Lennon opens up about Hatem Abd Elhamed’s shock Celtic exit

It is safe to say that 2020/21 was not a good campaign for Celtic. Under the management of Neil Lennon, the club finished trophyless and 25 points behind the Rangers in the Premiership table. What was most disappointing is the fact that the Hoops had the chance to win a historic 10IAR, which they failed to take.

As a result, Lennon’s second stint as the club’s manager is not remembered very fondly. It will be very interesting though to get his perspective on what went wrong that season. After all, this was a team that had dominated Scottish football for almost a decade and won the Quadruple Treble.

By the time January was over, there was very little hope of Celtic catching up with Steven Gerrard’s side and this probably reflected on their winter transfer window activity. They let both Jeremie Frimpong and Hatem Abd Elhamed leave within the space of a couple of weeks.

Lennon has now opened up about Elhamed’s Celtic exit. While speaking with Sport 5 and as reported by 67 Hail Hail, he said:

“Hatem has everything you are looking for in a modern player.

“He is fast and he is good with the ball, in the first games he got here he was fantastic when he was fit, he adds a lot.

“Sometimes he loses concentration and that’s fine.

“He sacrificed a lot to get here. The problem was that the closures came and he and his family had a very hard time.

“He found himself in training and at home and very isolated and he was not happy.”

Elhamed’s Celtic exit was a surprise because of its timing

Rumours had swirled around for weeks that Elhamed was set to depart Celtic. But when the club allowed Frimpong to join Bayer Leverkusen, many felt that that meant that the Israeli international was set to remain at Parkhead.

That was not to be though as he was also on his way out of the club not too long after, rejoining Hapoel Be’er Sheva. Thus, it was not him leaving that was a big surprise but the timing of it. Jonjoe Kenny, on loan from Everton, served as Celtic’s first-choice right-back for the remainder of the season.

During his early days at Parkhead, the Israeli right-back had looked very impressive and was a solid player without a doubt. And he could have had a run in the first-team following Frimpong’s exit. But his ultimate departure was understandable considering the circumstances.