Israel youth player joins Scots

Israeli midfielder Gil Blumenshtein predicts big things in Scotland

By Danny Caro, July 8, 2010
Gil Blumenshtein’s pace and technique impressed Terry Butcher

Gil Blumenshtein’s pace and technique impressed Terry Butcher

Football Gil Blumenshtein has joined Scottish Premier Division Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Blumenshtein, a former Israel youth international midfielder, was signed by manager Terry Butcher, the former England defender, from Hapoel Beer Sheva on a one-year contract.

Blumenshtein said: "Terry is a very good coach and manager. I think that I can learn a lot from him."

Attacking midfielder Blumenshtein received several offers but hopes his move can boost his international aspirations. "I haven't seen much Scottish football on television but I've heard all about Rangers and Celtic and I'm looking forward to playing against them. I play better when there are big crowds.

"This is one big step and I great belief in myself. My priority is to do well at Inverness and then take Israel to the European Championships and World Cup."

Likening himself to Brazilian star Kaka, Blumenshtein was at Racing Santander at the same time as Israel captain Yossi Benayoun. He said: "Yossi is a great player. One of the biggest in Israeli football history."

Blumenshtein, 20, has a Polish passport and does not require a work permit. He had a trial at Rangers last season as well as spells in Spain with Villarreal and Gent in Belgium as a teenager.

Butcher said: "Gil can play in midfield and attack. He has good pace and great technique. He is someone who nobody really knows much about, but he can give us good options."

West Bromwich Albion have bid to sign Israeli international keeper Dudu Awat. Mallorca are $80 million in debt and the new owners have declared that all players must take a wage cut.

Mallorca's new manager Michael Laudrup says that Awat is very much in his plans but the Israeli could earn more than double that sum at WBA.

Barcelona have released Gai Assulin after seven years with the club. His agent Pini Zahavi said: "The decision not to renew Gai's contract was mutually taken. At the moment we are considering his professional options."

Assulin said: "I believe in myself and I'm confident I'll find a good club."

Israeli defender Nir Mantzur, 19, has been released by Real Madrid while Nes Zamir has signed a two-year contract by Atletico Madrid.

Porto have offered Hapoel Tel Aviv €1 millions for Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, but the Israelis want four times that figure.

Last updated: 3:14pm, July 8 2010