Australian coach believes Ange's new Celtic signing "can play anywhere"

By David Walton

January 5, 2022

Australian coach and former Ange Postecoglou assistant John Hutchinson has stated that new Celtic signing Reo Hatate can “play anywhere”.

The former Kawasaki Frontale was due to arrive in Glasgow today ahead of fresh start at Celtic Park. Hatate arrives having already made a strong name for himself back in his homeland.

The midfielder has played in a host of different roles for Kawasaki over the last 2 years. Granted, he’s regularly featured in the engine room for his former club, but the option is there for Ange to move him around when necessary.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Hutchinson, of course, remembers Hatate well back when he was an assistant with Yokohama. And as Celtic fans excitingly await Hatate’s debut, the Australian coach has lauded the player’s versatility.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Hutchinson said: “Hatate can play anywhere. I remember watching him and thinking, ‘Where does this guy actually play?’. He was so comfortable in every position. I have seen him in centre midfield, left wing, right wing and full-back and he makes every one of them look so easy.

“The only position we didn’t see him playing was goalkeeper! We were super-talented, but his team, Kawasaki Frontale, were faultless all season and he was a big part of that. Having a player in the J-League who is so comfortable in so many positions is quite rare, so I think people will be impressed by what he does.”

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Reo Hatate could do a job in several positions for Celtic

Hatate, as mentioned, looks like he’ll be coming to Celtic Park and operating in the midfield. However, whether that’s where he plays constantly remains to be seen.

Celtic have had injury problems in a host of positions this season. That’s why having players with versatility is so important for a football club. We could’ve done with a few players of Hatate’s talents over the last few weeks.

What will be interesting is whether he can force his way into the Celtic midfield to begin with. After all, up against the likes of Tom Rogic, David Turnbull, and Callum McGregor for minutes won’t be a straightforward task.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

Thankfully, he should arrive in Glasgow fully fit and ready for minutes right away. Even if a period of adaption into Scottish life will be necessary, he should at least be available.

Hatate could potentially be a huge signing for the Hoops. Daizen Maeda has been the man attracting the most attention, so much so that it’s easy to forget Hatate comes to Scotland a title-winner.

Here’s hoping he brings that winning feeling to Parkhead and experiences trophy success in Glasgow.

In other news, Pat Bonner highlights how Celtic boss has managed to improve Joe Hart