Goalscorer Hemed determined to show he can cut it in the Premier
FOOTBALL TOMER Hemed insists he can be a Premier League hit after registering his first goal of the season for Brighton.
The Israeli striker netted a superb near-post diving header 18 minutes into the second half in the 3-1 triumph over West Bromwich Albion.
He played a major role in Brighton’s first Premier League win of the season, setting up Pascal Gross for the team’s second goal 15 minutes earlier.
It had looked as if Hemed, 30, would leave the Seagulls in August after Reading reportedly offered £9.5 million. But Brighton decided keep Hemed after failing to sign the strikers the club were pursuing.
Hemed said: “The media exaggerated the likelihood that I was leaving. The club wanted to keep me and it’s very flattering the club are prepared to invest so much in me. I’m happy that I’ve started proving myself.
“We waited a long time to score and to win but the victory changes everything.”
Hemed became the first Israeli to score in the Premier League since Itay Shechter registered for Swansea in May 2013.
Reports in Israel claim Hemed is set to sign a new contract at Brighton. He is out of contract next summer and with Championship clubs prepared to offer big sums to buy him, Brighton are unlikely to allow him to leave as a free agent.
Hemed missed Israel’s recent World Cup defeat in Italy through injury and was only brought on as a second half substitute in the 1-0 home defeat to Macedonia. But having been suspended earlier this year for publicly complaining that Israel manager Elisha Levy had consistently overlooked him, he chooses his words carefully.
“I’m not in a position to criticise. I want to give everything to the national team and sometimes I get the chance and sometimes I don’t.”
Tomer Hemed beats Jonny Evans to head home