In the aftermath of Celtic’s emphatic 3-0 win over Dundee on Saturday, one moment quickly captured the imagination of the Hoops faithful. Reo Hatate, our Japanese midfield maestro, was seen doing laps around Celtic Park in his bare feet during his post-match warm-down.
Hatate’s return to action after recovering from injury was a breath of fresh air. The moment he set foot on the pitch, the entire atmosphere seemed to shift; the team’s intensity went through the roof. The ball moved from defence to attack with a sense of urgency that had been missing, almost as if propelled by Hatate’s very presence.
With this impactful return, Hatate has certainly put himself in contention for a starting spot against Feyenoord this coming Tuesday. Considering how seamlessly he reintegrated into the squad and elevated the tempo, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the starting XI. And judging by his post-match ritual, it’s clear he came through the Dundee match unscathed.
The video of Reo on social media doing laps in his bare feet has been viewed over a quarter of a million times.
The Hoops and Reo are in talks over extending his stay at Celtic. After a summer of discontent and rumours, Brendan Rodgers felt it necessary to manage Reo a bit and even dropped him for the first game of the season. He was reinstated to the side for the Aberdeen game but then picked up his injury.
Let’s hope the deal can be done!