Hapoel Tel Aviv completed the signing of Danielde Ridder on Wednesday, agreeing to pay a reported £180,000 to take theDutch-Jewish midfielder on loan from Wigan Athletic for the rest of theseason.
The25-year-old, who began his career at Dutch giant Ajax before moving onto Celta Vigo in Spain and Birmingham City, has not played for Wiganthis season and made just 18 appearances for the club during its lastcampaign.
De Ridder, who has Israeli citizenship and speaks fluentHebrew, will arrive in the country on Thursday and may even feature inHapoel's crucial showdown with Maccabi Haifa on Monday.
"[The fact that I am Jewish] is playing a role in choosing theIsraeli league. Yes, I can speak Hebrew but more important is thatHapoel Tel Aviv is the current runner-up to Maccabi Haifa and stillplays in the Europa League," he told Sportweek.
"Theyqualified from a group with big teams likes Hamburg, Celtic and RapidVienna in first place. Now they play in the next round against RubinKazan."
De Ridder will be hoping to revive his career in Tel Aviv.Despite starring for the Dutch youth teams, he has yet to fulfill hispotential at the senior level and a successful six months at Hapoelwill raise his stock ahead of the summer transfer window.
Bolivian internationaldefender Miguel Hoyos will also arrive in Israel on Thursday and isexpected to sign with Hapoel after passing a medical. The 28-year-oldwill join from Bolivian club Bolivar.