Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate can be a standout figure for the Hoops in 2022/23 after getting a good pre-season behind him, according to journalist Anthony Joseph.
The Lowdown: Promising start at Celtic
The Japan international made the move to Parkhead during the January transfer window, proving to be an effective signing as he helped the Bhoys to win the Premiership title.
Hatate chipped in with four goals and two assists in 13 league appearances, being described as an ‘outrageous’ player by Scotland midfielder John McGinn and ranking as Celtic’s ninth-best player to finish out the campaign in Glasgow, as per WhoScored.
The hope is that this is just the start for the 24-year-old in a Hoops shirt as he continues to adjust to life at Parkhead.
The Latest: Hatate backed for big season
Joseph is anticipating big things from Hatate over the next few months, who told GiveMeSport that he is expecting the Japanese maestro to go up another level after being rested this summer.
The journalist said:
“Reo Hatate, who’s their exciting midfielder they’ve got, but you could see he was tiring.
“He played a full season in Japan, then had some cup games and went straight into half a season with Celtic and he even said himself that he was tired and struggling to keep up with the pace.
“He was making decisions himself as to whether to go in for a tackle, whether to chase that ball, because he’s shattered, so he really needs a good rest and a good pre-season because I think he could be a star performer next season.”
The Verdict: Key player moving forward
The early signs are certainly encouraging with Hatate, considering the manner in which he fitted seamlessly into Celtic’s team at a critical juncture in the season, scoring twice in February’s 3-0 thrashing of Rangers shortly after arriving in Glasgow.
His quality in the middle of the park can help to fill the void left by Tom Rogic’s departure, and without the Australian around, it could be that Hatate becomes even more of a fixture in the team.
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At 24, he is primed to keep improving and become a new hero for the Hoops, following in the footsteps of compatriots Shunsuke Nakamura and Kyogo Furuhashi.
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