(photo credit: )
Hapoel Tel Aviv completed the signing of Daniel de Ridder on
Wednesday, agreeing to pay a reported £180,000 to take the Dutch-Jewish
midfielder on loan from Wigan Athletic for the rest of the season.
The 25-year-old, who began his career at Dutch giant Ajax
before moving on to Celta Vigo in Spain and Birmingham City, has not
played for Wigan this season and made just 18 appearances for the club
during its last campaign.
De Ridder, who has Israeli citizenship and speaks fluent
Hebrew, will arrive in the country on Thursday and may even feature in
Hapoel's crucial showdown with Maccabi Haifa on Monday.
"[The fact that I am Jewish] is playing a role in choosing the
Israeli league. Yes, I can speak Hebrew but more important is that
Hapoel Tel Aviv is the current runner-up to Maccabi Haifa and still
plays in the Europa League," he told Sportweek
"They qualified from a group with big teams likes Hamburg,
Celtic and Rapid Vienna in first place. Now they play in the next round
against Rubin Kazan."
De Ridder will be hoping to revive his career in Tel Aviv.
Despite starring for the Dutch youth teams, he has yet to fulfill his
potential at the senior level and a successful six months at Hapoel
will raise his stock ahead of the summer transfer window.
Bolivian international defender Miguel Hoyos will also arrive
in Israel on Thursday and is expected to sign with Hapoel after passing
a medical. The 28-year-old will join from Bolivian club Bolivar.