Reo Hatate confirms his strongest position as he prepares for Celtic debut

By David Walton

January 12, 2022

New Celtic signing Reo Hatate has confirmed that his favourite position is in the attacking midfield role after showing his versatility last term.

The new recruit from Kawasaki Frontale often played at left-back last-term whilst also offering his services as a left and right-winger at differing stages. However, he played the most matches in an attacking-midfield role as he proved a key cog in Frontale’s title-win.

The player looks set to be ready to make his Celtic debut against Hibernian on Monday night. Many, however, will be wondering what role Ange Postecoglou has up his sleeve for him.

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Even so, Hatate pretty much provided the strongest indication of where he’ll playing for the Hoops in his first presser.

Speaking via Celtic TV, the Japan international said: “So personally I am best in attacking related positions. So attacking-midfielder is probably my best place.

“However, if the manager wants me to play in different positions, I’m mentally prepared and ready to play in different positions as well.”

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Daizen Maeda already loving Glasgow, as Ange bolsters Celtic backroom team
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Reo Hatate could take advantage of a certain Celtic injury concern

Interesting that Hatate views his favourite position as the attacking midfield role. Not overly surprising given his exposure to it last term, but he has some serious competition on his hands when everyone is fit.

However, there is one injury concern that potentially opens the door for Hatate to impress. David Turnbull is still said to be sidelined and it doesn’t look as if he’ll be back anytime soon [The Scotsman].

That could see some more opportunities occur for Hatate given Tom Rogic will be his only competition when we get back into the action. It’s not as if Tom is able to play 90 minutes more than once every week either.

Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

It looks at this stage as though Hatate could go right into the side for the visit of Hibs on Monday night. Of course, a big part fo that will depend on whether Ange feels his levels in training are up to the standard required.

It’s just so promising to have options again. It’s about time Celtic were able to stop moving players around from different positions. Having genuine cover in players’ natural positions is exactly what we want.

And given the versatility that Hatate will bring, it’s ideal to know we have a handyman there if we need one.

In other news, Report: Johnny Kenny arrives at Celtic with an injury; will be out for several weeks