Chris Sutton's class Reo Hatate comments; bigs up his Celtic potential

By David Walton

May 23, 2022

Chris Sutton believes Reo Hatate could become a “future star” at Celtic Park as he bigged up the Japanese international’s full potential.

Hatate has had a rollercoaster first 4 months at Parkhead which has seen him secure the Premiership title and become a UCL footballer as of next season.

However, at the same time, Reo struggled for spells during the second half of the campaign due to tiredness. This is something the player admitted himself, after completing an entire J-League season before arriving in Glasgow.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

And Sutton believes his dip in form is easily forgivable as he stated what he needs to do to become a superstar at Celtic Park.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Sutton said: “The kid looked dynamite in his opening few matches, but shaded badly. That’s forgivable. He’s a young lad in a new country for the first time and had also started his season 17 months ago in the J-League.

“The boy said he was seeing double at one stage during a game against Rangers due to fatigue, so we’ll get a true sense of his value when he’s had his summer holidays. One thing you can see is that he’s got touch, he’s got vision and his goals against Hearts and Rangers showed his shooting prowess.

“If he can match a vibrant energy and box-to-box running with those talents, Postecoglou has got a future star on his hands, as, to be fair, he’s said that he will be. Given the fact the manager hasn’t got much wrong so far in his reign, the Celtic fans can be confident that Hatate will shine going forward.”

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Chris Sutton tips Reo Hatae for big things at Celtic ahead of next season

Hatate will of course be hoping to improve his performances further next season. There’s a battle brewing in that midfield with everyone fighting for a spot in the Champions League.

The Japanese international has every right to feel as if he should be one of the names in contention for regular European football. He was the one who helped spark the title fight last season with his January brace against Rangers.

However, at the same time, there are definite improvements to be made when it comes to Reo’s game. As good as his passing range is, too often he was dispossessed in the closing games of the campaign. Whether this was down to a lack of concentration or just wanting too much time on the ball, it’s an area that needs improving.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Reo certainly has the ability and the talent. He was phenomenal in the first few weeks after he signed before going through a rough patch. But patience was always going to be key when it came to any signing from the J-League.

At £1.4m [Scottish Daily Mail, print edition, 01/01] it’s clear Celtic have got a bargain when it comes to Hatate’s raw attributes. He still played a key role in bringing the championship back to Celtic Park and that can’t be forgotten.

But you can’t help but look ahead to next season with pure excitement. Hopefully, Reo is going to take his game to new heights.

In other news, Report: The bargain fee it would take for Celtic to land Francisco Ortega