HATEM Elhamed is confident he can deputise for Christopher Jullien at centre half if his Celtic team mate is ruled out of the Europa League group game against Rennes.

Jullien suffered a head knock in the 1-0 win over Ladbrokes Premiership rivals Hamilton on Saturday after colliding with Marios Ogkmpoe and required medical attention.

The £7 million signing completed the match and his manager Neil Lennon is confident he will be fine to play in France on Thursday evening.

Lennon stated after the game that he thought the player had blacked out for a second – but a Celtic spokesman later stressed he was mistaken.

But if the former Toulouse man misses out and Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton fail to recover from knee and hamstring injuries respectively then right back Elhamed is happy to take over.

The 28-year-old Israeli has played in every position in the backline for club and country in the four games he has been involved in during the past fortnight and isn’t fazed by the prospect.

“I feel I am capable of playing anywhere in defence,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me whether it is right back, left back or central defence.

“I played for 45 minutes at left back against Slovenia (in a Euro 2020 qualifier) as well as playing in the middle.

“I’m confident I can make the right decisions regardless of what position I play in. I felt I did well for the national team and it has been a good start so far for Celtic.

“I am happy to switch positions. The derby was a great experience for me. To experience that atmosphere was tough, but I feel I adapted well.

“The game with Rangers was one of the toughest and biggest of my career. I played two different positions so I want to take the confidence into Thursday.”

Elhamed has no fears Celtic will damage their chances of landing a record-equalling ninth consecutive Scottish title by competing in Europe this season.

He is keen for the treble treble winners to progress to the knockout rounds of the competition and isn’t concerned that doing so will hinder their efforts domestically.

“We have to take it game by game, but we want to do well in the competition,” he said. “It is a tough start away in France against a very good team so physically we need to match them. We need to be aggressive and make our mark in Europe this season.

“We are a big club so we should be aiming to do big things in Europe. I have played in the competition before with Hapoel Be’er Sheeva and enjoyed it. There is no reason why we cannot do well in Europe and at home.

“Though it is only five games into the season so it is too early to start speaking about winning things just yet.

Celtic have beaten AIK, Nomme Kalju and Sarajevo and drawn with Cluj away from home in Europe in the 2019/20 campaign and Elhamed feels they can take something from the meeting with Rennes.

“It does help when you have played well away from home our home at Celtic Park,” he said. “We showed against Rangers and Stockholm we can do well without a lot of our fans.

“That gives us a lot of confidence before we play Rennes. We have a strong squad and players with a strong belief so we can be confident. I think we can go and show this is France.”