Tamie Cohen 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Haifa finally found the midfielder it was so desperately searching for
on Monday, signing Israel international Tamir Cohen to a four-year
The 27-year-old will return to Israel after three-and-a-half
years at Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League and will be able to play
for Haifa in the first leg of its Champions League playoff against KRC Genk
after putting pen to paper ahead of Monday night’s deadline.
to be joining Haifa, which is a European club in every way possible,” said
Cohen, who is expected to earn in the region of 300,000 euros a
“I hope to help Haifa in its upcoming missions.”
whose contract at Bolton ran out at the end of May, was holding out for an
attractive offer in England, but when that didn’t arrive he was left to decide
between Greek giant Panathinaikos and Haifa.
Cohen, who had made 49
Premier League appearances over three-and-ahalf seasons at Bolton, had already
agreed personal terms with Pana, only to eventually decide to join Haifa as he
wanted to be near his family after the tragic death of his father Avi in a
motorcycle accident in December.
Cohen scored six league goals for the
Wanderers, with the last being especially emotional.
Bolton’s 90th minute winner in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Reebok Stadium
in April, Cohen revealed a T-shirt bearing a picture of his father before
breaking down in tears.
Cohen was only making his fourth Premier League
appearance of the season in the match against Arsenal after a minor operation
last summer had left him behind schedule before spending weeks in Israel when
his father was left critically injured following the motorcycle accident in
Cohen joined Bolton from Maccabi Netanya, where he had
resurrected his career after struggling to find his place at his home club
Maccabi Tel Aviv, making just three league appearances in the 2006/07
The defensive midfielder made his international debut in October
2007, but lack of playing time at Bolton has meant that coach Luis Fernandez
hasn’t used him in a match since last October, not even calling him up for this
Wednesday’s international friendly against the Ivory Coast.
of Cohen was Haifa’s third in 24 hours, with the Greens also adding defender
Itzik Cohen and Hapoel Petah Tikva striker Alon Turgeman to their
The 28-year-old Itzik Cohen joined from Hapoel Acre, where he made
his overdue breakthrough last season, starting in 26 league matches and earning
a call-up to the national team.
“I’m happy to be coming back home,” said
Cohen, who came through the Haifa youth system. “I will do all I can to gel with
the squad as quickly as possible and help the club in the challenges it
Cohen will likely have a crucial role to play as soon as next
week, with Haifa missing its two first-choice center-backs for the first leg
Croatian Jurica Buljat is suspended after picking up a
second yellow card in the return leg against NK Maribor in the third qualifying
round, while Ukrainian Andriy Pylyavskyi is expected to be out for around two
months after injuring his ankle in training.
Haifa hosts Genk at National
Stadium in Ramat Gan on August 17 before visiting Belgium for the return leg the
Haifa’s biggest rival in recent years was also active
in the transfer market on Monday, with Hapoel Tel Aviv signing Nigerian Nosa
Igiebor from Norwegian club Lillestrom SK for a fee in the vicinity of 800,000
The 20-year-old midfielder still needs to come through a medical
for the deal to be completed, but assuming he does so he will help fill the void
left in the Hapoel midfield by the departures of Eran Zahavi and Gili Vermut.