Celtic

Celtic: Hatem Abd Elhamed embracing competition for his place in Hoops line-up

Celtic: Hatem Abd Elhamed embracing competition for his place in Hoops line-up

Celtic defender Hatem Abd Elhamed has welcomed the competition for places in Neil Lennon’s squad, believing it to be a positive motivator.

Speaking to Celtic View magazine [via 67hailhail.com], the 28-year-old has said that he has no problem with the manager’s decision to rotate between him and Moritz Bauer for the right-back slot and believes that the competition for a starting berth is healthy.

The Israel international told Celtic View [via 67hailhail.com]: “Competition is very important. It gives you more motivation to play good and show your best football. Moritz is a good guy and a great player and we get the best out of each other.

“Every player wants to play every single game, but that’s not always possible. I was out for two games so I needed to show I could come into a tough European game and perform.”

Abd Elhamed came to Celtic in late July and has so far made 10 appearances for the club, starting nine of their 16 matches since the beginning of August. [via TransferMarkt]

He hasn’t played in either of their last two Premiership games but featured for the entirety of both Europa League group stage matches to date. [via TransferMarkt]

Bauer, who arrived on loan from Stoke in late August, has started the last three Premiership games but has yet to play in Celtic’s European campaign, featuring in four of the Hoops’ last eight matches in all competitions. [via TransferMarkt]

Celtic have let in seven goals in 10 games (0.7 per game) with Abd Elhamed in their line-up – the goal they conceded against Kilmarnock came before he appeared as a substitute for Bauer.

That concession rate is better than the Austrian’s, with the Hoops shipping four goals in as many games with him in the team. However, Bauer has been more effective going forward, providing two assists (0.5 per game) while Abd Elhamed has had only one (0.1 per game).

Abd Elhamed has continued to have Lennon’s trust for Europa League games, with the manager doing his best to keep both him and Bauer content.

He could decide to keep Abd Elhamed in the team for perceived bigger games, given Celtic’s lower concession rate with him in the side, and play Bauer in matches where the Hoops will expect to dominate possession and territory given his ability to set up scoring chances.

Lennon appears to be getting the balance right, judging by how receptive Abd Elhamed has been to the manager’s rotation policy.

Will Celtic get to 10 in a row?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Celtic fans, do you agree with Lennon’s decision to rotate the right-backs or should he have one clear preferred option? Join in the discussion by commenting below!

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