REO HATATE had declared that he was feeling fatigued, mentally and physically, during the week. He played a season in Japan, and an Olympics, before transferring to Celtic to complete the remainder of the Scottish season.
When the midfielder first joined the Hoops, he was terrific, and he was compared to Iniesta. However, as the weeks have gone by, it’s clear that the player has become a bit leggy.
“He is fine. With him, Daizen (Maeda), Gucci (Yosuke Ideguchi) and Matty (O’Riley), they’ve only come in the last three or four months.
“Whenever you come into a new environment it, it is always challenging, particularly when you’re coming to a new country, but he’s fine. He’s training well. He’s all good.
“You are kind of guided by them, how they are playing and how they are training. I haven’t felt the need to sort of rein back any of them.
“From when they’ve come in in January they’ve been outstanding. You will find it hard to find anywhere else where three players have come in and made an instant impact in their team. Usually January is a tricky one to bed guys in and make an immediate impact, but they have done really well for us.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Ange manages his players as they push for the league title.
Celtic has a lot of options in midfield. They can afford to drop Hatate if needed, but Postecoglou will select the best squad available, and if Hatate is in that bracket, he’ll continue to get game time.
Reo will be looking forward to his rest in a few weeks before rejoining the squad for pre-season. With fresh legs, Hatate could be one of the best midfielders in Scotland.