Name: Tomer Hemed
Date of Birth: 02/05/1987, Haifa, Israel.
Former clubs: Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Herzliya (L), Bnei Yehuda (L), Maccabi Ahi Nazareth (L), Mallorca, Almería.
Appearances (goals): 240 (68)
It has been quite a remarkable turnaround for Brighton in a short space of time, as they finished just six points above the Championship dropzone last season, and now find themselves battling it out with Middlesbrough and Burnley for automatic promotion, having already secured a play-off spot at least.
One of the big factors in their upturn in fortunes has been the arrival of Israeli international forward Tomer Hemed, arguably one of the division`s signings of the season, having been brought in by Chris Hughton last summer from Spanish side Almeria, for a fee believed to have been around £1million.
With fellow Israeli Beram Kayal helping him settle into his new surroundings, Hemed, who has 12 goals to his name for the national side, adapted almost immediately to the rigours of English football, notching his first goal on just his second league appearance, while bagging five in his first seven league outings.
The striker has netted 16 goals in 40 league matches for the Seagulls to lead the club`s goalscoring charts, with 10 of those strikes coming in his last 13 appearances, including a hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of Fulham at the Amex Stadium on Friday night, while he has also chipped in with six assists for the Albion.
Having begun his career in his native homeland with Maccabi Haifa, where he was loaned out on three occasions, and won the league title in his final season with the club, Hemed moved to La Liga with Mallorca ahead of the 2011/2012 campaign, where he netted eight goals in his debut season in Spain.
His 11 goals the following campaign were not enough to help the club stave off relegation, as they dropped out of the top-flight having finished third from bottom, and it was a doubly disappointing end to the season for Hemed, who suffered a serious Achilles injury in the penultimate game at Atletico Madrid.
That injury would keep him out of action for seven months, as he had to sit out until the middle of December of the 2012/2013 season, before making his return for the club in the Spanish Segunda.
He managed to feature on 24 occasions during the second half of the campaign, notching two goals, as the club failed to bounce back to the top-flight at the first time of asking, but a return to La Liga quickly followed for Hemed, who departed Mallorca at the end of his contract, with 21 goals in 90 games.
Almeria swooped to secure his services on a two-year deal having just avoided the drop the previous year, and it would be a short stay at the club for the striker, with whom he managed to notch eight goals, but would suffer relegation for a second time in his career as the side finished second from bottom.
Having been on Hughton`s radar for prior to taking the reins at Brighton, he made what has turned out to be a shrewd move for the striker in the summer, handing him a three-year deal and the number 10 shirt, and while it has been a big team effort for the Seagulls, Hemed has made a significant contribution.
One to Watch – Tomer Hemed
Name: Tomer Hemed