James McFadden praises Reo Hatate for 'fantastic' Celtic form; Ange Postecoglou shout comes true

By Milo Clay

February 20, 2023

Celtic star Reo Hatate is playing at the top of his game right now and James McFadden is just the latest pundit to praise his recent form. 

Hatate bagged a brace as the Hoops thrashed Aberdeen 4-0 on Saturday and his performances over the past few months have been exceptional. 

The 25-year-old has registered nine goal involvements in 10 Scottish Premiership appearances since the return of football after the World Cup. 

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Former Motherwell striker, James McFadden, analysed his most recent display at Celtic Park on BBC Sportscene on Saturday. 

While the former Scotland international praised his intelligence, he highlighted his work off the ball and referred to Ange Postecoglou’s previous comments on the Japanese midfielder. 

McFadden praises ‘fantastic’ Hatate 

This time last year, Postecoglou remarked that Hatate is ‘not fit enough yet’ after he marked his Glasgow Derby debut with two goals. 

And while McFadden says that he thought the Celtic boss’ comments were surprising at the time, he’s been proven right. 

“Yeah he was [outstanding] and he has been for a number of weeks now. I think you look at just his intelligence, Neil [McCann] speaking about the back-three [Aberdeen’s] and maybe going out and engaging, plugging the gaps, but he’s just so intelligent that he goes in to join in, almost as a striker, then comes off,” McFadden told BBC Sportscene. 

“You’ve got Angus MacDonald looking at him, pointing at him, saying ‘somebody pick him up’. But he comes into his area then he peels off. It’s just so intelligent and he covers so much ground as well. 

“I say this quite a lot about him as well, last year when he came in and he played in the game against Rangers, he was outstanding and Ange Postecoglou said after that he’s not even nearly fit yet. 

“And I think we’re seeing exactly what he meant because we thought that was a bold statement. And you see his heatmap, he’s got so much energy, but he’s got so much intelligence as well.

“Just a fantastic player and no surprise that he’s at the heart of anything good for Celtic today.” 

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Celtic boss seems to have a habit of being proven right months down the line and he was spot on about Hatate. 

The midfielder brings so much to the Bhoys side in terms of his work on the ball, but he also leads by example with his work-rate off of it. 

Hatate is fully up to speed in a Celtic shirt now and he’s proving to be a reliable source of goals from the middle of the park.

In other news, Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish on Nick Walsh, John Beaton and the upcoming final vs Rangers.