REO HATATE was a highly anticipated signing before he was announced on Hogmanay, ahead of the January transfer window opening.
He had to wait two weeks before he could make his Celtic debut against Hibs in a win at Celtic Park.
The midfielder bossed the game, with Celtic fans leaving the stadium raving about their new bargain of a signing.
However, his performances did dip, but after playing an entire season and an Olympic games, as well as moving to a new continent to play a different style of football, tiredness was expected to kick in.
Speaking on Japanese TV, Twitter user @twoflagsmusic translated what Hatate had to say on if he felt he’d improved during his first six months abroad. The midfielder said;
“It’s not about whether I got better or worse. The style of soccer is very different from Japan.
“The length of grass is different, and it’s always wet because it rains alot there. I think I got better in terms of playing in different conditions.
“That requires different kind of strength. Also, under Ange, I’m always required to play in midfield, Ange always tells me to constantly look for positions where I am unmarked.
“That made me better as well and not just on the pitch, but off the pitch. Since going to Scotland I’ve had many new experiences, so I think I’ve matured”
Celtic fans can’t wait to see Hatate after a long rest next season. He’s already said he’s itching to perform on Europe’s top stage and is hoping he can help his teammates get the three points in the group stages.