Reo Hatate opens up on settling in at Celtic; highlights 2 things he misses from Japan

By David Walton

March 29, 2022

Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate has discussed what he’s been doing to settle in Scotland as he identified what he missed most from Japan.

Hatate has impressed the Hoops supporters since his January arrival from Kawasaki Frontale. There have been ups and downs for the Japanese international over the last couple of months, but that was to be expected given the swift change he’s had to endure.

It’s easy to forget that Hatate, Daizen Maeda, and Yosuke Ideguchi have all just come off a gruelling season only to be thrust into the Scottish football spotlight in the most intense stages of the season. Not to mention that this year’s title race is perhaps the most important in years due to the Champions League prize on offer.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

And Hatate has opened up on what he’s doing to try and settle as he pinpointed the 2 things he misses most from Japan. Speaking to the Celtic View [Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 55], Hatate said: “In terms of settling in, I don’t know if I have yet. But every day I am trying my best to learn more. I’m still in the process of adapting to the new culture. Everything is different here from the culture, environment, the pitches we play on and the weather. Outside of football, these are not easy for me and it’s something that I’m working on.

“I’ve been going out for coffee around the city. I really enjoy my coffee but it has to be decaf! I also really enjoy reading books, that’s something I do a lot in my spare time. The landscape of the city is very beautiful but there’s no sunshine here. That’s the only thing so far that I’ve not enjoyed as much.

“The other thing I definitely miss is definitely the food. I miss the sushi and the barbeques we have back home. I miss the hot springs as well. These are all things that I’m used to, so that’s why I miss not having them. I’ve not tried the sushi here yet but I have had some Scottish salmon which was nice so I’m hopeful it will be good.”

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Reo Hatate opens up on his Celtic struggles – putting every effort into settling in

You can clearly see with the way Hatate is speaking here that there are certain aspects of life here he’s struggling with. He’s open about it, and it’s important he gets it out to supporters too.

These kinds of aspects put a different light on his inconsistency levels. Whilst there have been plenty of good displays from Reo, he did have a period of struggle over the course of February in particular.

Now that he’s opened up on his struggles, it gives you a new perspective. It shows how important it is to give him patience. We all know he has quality, but unless he’s given the time he needs to fully adapt to life in Scotland, we’ll continue to see these periods of inconsistency.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

You can’t put a timeline on it either. Every individual is different and mindsets vary when it comes to this kind of thing. Just because Kyogo Furuhashi lit up Scotland immediately, it didn’t mean it was an easy transition. Kyogo just made it look that way. Those same expectations should never have been placed on Hatate, Maeda, or Ideguchi.

It’s great to know he’s putting every effort he can into settling into Scottish life. It’s actually impressive that he’s been able to make such a big impact on our title push. It says a lot about his mentality.

Now, we simply need to give him the space and time needed for him to get fully used to his career here. One thing’s for sure, he certainly has the ability.

In other news, “Bubbling mate”; Joe Hart’s superb response to Celtic Park derby atmosphere