Reo Hatate’s big Japan moment may be about to arrive but it has complications for Celtic

By Hamish Carton

March 25, 2022

Celtic star Reo Hatate is in line for his first international cap after Japan secured qualification for the World Cup.

The Samurai Blue clinched their place in Qatar with a 2-0 win over Australia yesterday.

Hatate watched the game from the bench, but could finally be about to get the nod for his country next week.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

That’s because Japan have released a couple of players including Stuttgart midfielder Wataru Endo now qualification is in the bag. (Dan Orlowitz)

Boss Hajime Moriyasu is expected to ring the changes for Tuesday’s home clash with Vietnam.

Japan are still fighting with Saudi Arabia to win Group B, but the main goal of qualification is secured and the game is a bit of a dead rubber as a result.

Celtic accept tiny Ibrox allocation as a nervy six days begin | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail

Celtic accept tiny Ibrox allocation as a nervy six days begin | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Hatate Japan appearance isn’t ideal for Celtic

Yesterday’s fixture in Sydney was the first time Hatate has made the bench for the full team, but he has earned plenty of caps at youth/Olympic level.

A full appearance for Japan would be a great reward for Hatate for the start to life he has made in Glasgow.

But Celtic fans may not be too gutted if he doesn’t get his wish just yet either.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Japan’s clash with Vietnam may kick-off more than five days before our crucial visit to Ibrox, but Hatate still has to navigate most of the globe to get back to Scotland.

It’s not quite Daizen Maeda levels of travel, but it would be much better for Celtic if the midfielder has a full two week rest from matches.

Hatate has played a lot of football over the past 18 months – and was our star man last time out against Rangers.

But Ange can’t control this. So he’s unlikely to worry about it too much.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou has been talking about Celtic’s impressive away form