Celtic secure a home win in Europe with the bonus of a clean sheet and look favourites to go progress in the tie. Sound familiar?
No not Elfsborg but Utrecht in 2010’s Europa League. A game where new singing Beram Kayal was awarded man of the match, In contrast to the midfielders laboured performance last night.
In the weeks after Kayal’s promising start to his Celtic career was disrupted by a hernia injury, however he bounced back, and in 2011 was a huge player for the hoops.
His passionate style and fluid passing endeared himself to fans and won respect from many in the Scottish game. It seemed as if Celtic would struggle to keep hold of the 25 year old as rumours of English clubs tracking the player circulated.
Fast forward to last night’s game and in truth since an injury against Rangers 18 months ago Kayal has looked a shadow of his former self.
Once we wondered if Victor Wanyama could fill the void left in Kayal’s absence, now many question whether the midfielder is the right man to partner Brown in the middle.
With the signing of Derek Boerrigter, the Dutchmen is expected to be given a chance to establish himself on the left flank, a fully fit Scott Brown will likely play centre midfield. Fans favourite Joe Ledley is difficult to drop from the side, and with Boerrigter wide, Ledley will probably partner Brown. Therefore Kayal will have to work hard just to be given the game time he needs to prove he can be the player he once was.
Everyone wants to see him at the heart of the side, tackling, harrying and playing with the frenetic drive he did when he first joined the club. However many of the Celtic support have lost faith in the Israeli and question if he has a future at the club.
I believe Kayal has until January to prove he can return and be a commanding figure in midfield, capable of playing week after week, displaying the qualities we all know he had. If not Lennon maybe look to bring someone in during the transfer window to pick up where Wanyama left off.
Personally I have confidence that if he can stay injury free and get a run of games his confidence will return and so too will his standout performance. Kayal can be of value in defence and in attack, he is just as capable of playing pass after pass in midfield as he is intercepting them. Too add to this he has the running power and toughness to boss an SPL midfield.
I would definitely not write him off yet.
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