Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou superbly dismissed BBC journalist Chick Young’s Reo Hatate comparison last night as he tried to liken the player to former hero Shunsuke Nakamura.
The Hoops bossed Hibernian at Celtic Park in a game that will be remembered for the debut performances of both Daizen Maeda and Hatate. The latter won the man-of-the-match award, with a stunning display full of elegance and dynamism.
Hatate already looks like one of the first names on the teamsheet after last night’s display. Fans will be itching to see more of him when Celtic take the trip to Alloa on Saturday in the Scottish Cup.
However, BBC reporter Young bizarrely looked to compare him to Nakamura, with the suggestion quickly being dismissed by Ange post-match. Speaking to the BBC, Postecoglou said: “No, he’s Reo Hatate mate.
“He’ll make his own mark and he’s a very talented young player and a very determined young man. They’re all different, like I said, and he’s one who has his eyes on reaching the very top in football and I’m glad to have him at our football club.
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“We’re just going to try and get the best out of him and push him to the levels we know he can get.”
Reo Hatate doesn’t need Nakamura tag; he’s clearly ready to make a Celtic impact of his own
Comparisons to the likes of Nakamura doesn’t help anyone. Whilst it was clearly meant as a compliment to the player’s performance, it doesn’t make much sense.
Hatate’s style of movement and play still differs greatly from that of Nakamura. He offered a lot more of a defensive presence than Naka did and was happy to get aggressive when necessary. Not to mention he was always keen to move the ball as quickly as possible use his speed to weave beyond the opposition.
The comparison to Nakamura seems like it’s just coming out of nowhere because they’re both Japanese. There are still major differences between the two.
Of course, if he goes on to make a similar level of impact as Nakamura did then nobody will be complaining. But it’s important to shield him from tags such as that for now. It’s still very early into his Celtic career.
Indeed, a big test will await Hatate and co next Wednesday night when we travel to Tynecastle. 3 points there will be another must and the likes of Reo and Daizen will have to step it up another level again.
But for now, we can all just enjoy what was a scintillating Celtic Park debut from Reo.