ISRAEL STRIKER Itay Shechter 390 (R).
(photo credit: Reuter)
After a bitterly disappointing season, Hapoel Tel Aviv seems to be holding
nothing back ahead of 2013/14, signing striker Itay Shechter to a lucrative
five-year deal on Thursday.
The 26-year-old returns to Hapoel hoping to
reinvigorate his career after two frustrating seasons in Europe. Shechter got
his time at German club Kaisersalutern off to a promising start but quickly lost
his place in the starting lineup and was loaned out to Swansea City last
The Israel international also failed to make any significant
impression in the English Premier League and opted to come back to Tel Aviv
instead of fighting for playing time abroad.
“I’m really happy to be back
home,” said Shechter, who was also connected with a move to Maccabi Tel Aviv and
“I experienced a tough season. I didn’t feel part of the
team. I had to take a step back to regain confidence and enjoy playing once
Shechter is the fourth signing made by new Hapoel coach Ran Ben-
Shimon since he joined the club last month.
“Itay has already proven
himself at this club and the only thing I expect from him is that he gives his
best,” said Ben-Shimon. “The expectations are high with or without Shechter. I
think we have signed the kind of player who will help us challenge on all
Shechter’s first stint with Hapoel was a resounding success. He
scored 27 goals in 45 league appearances, helping Tel Aviv to the championship
in the 2009/2010 season, and to the Champions League group stage the following
“Perhaps I could have made more money at other clubs, but I’d
rather play for Hapoel,” said Shechter, who is set to earn around NIS 15 million
over the next five seasons. “The expectations from me would have been high
regardless of my salary and I will do my all to repay the club.”