Report: Where Celtic plan to field Reo Hatate; Hoops star could move position

By David Walton

November 30, 2021

Ange Postecoglou plans to field Reo Hatate at left-back if he manages to sign him up at Celtic in January, the Daily Record reports.

Hatate has featured regularly as a central midfielder for Kawasaki Frontale this season. That’s led to question marks over where Celtic may view as his strongest position.

The player can play both as a left-back and midfielder. Celtic, meanwhile, are well-stocked in both positions but have struggled for quality in the former.

Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

The Record reports that the Hoops are looking to tie down Hatate before more Covid restrictions are put in place. This could mean a potential debut against Rangers on January 2nd.

Celtic have struggled for a reliable option at left-back in the absence of Greg Taylor. Boli Bolingoli is well out of the picture whilst Liam Scales clearly isn’t trusted to do a job just yet.

It remains to be seen what this means for right-back Josip Juranovic, who has been featuring regularly on the opposite side since arriving.

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Reo Hatate arrival could see Celtic get the best out of Josip Juranovic

Celtic have long needed a high-quality left-back stretching back to the departure of Kieran Tierney. Bolingoli was never a capable replacement, whilst Taylor clearly has his limits.

Whilst admittedly Tierney is a special talent and not a player so easily replaced, the decline in quality after his departure was far too steep. So much so that Celtic have had major problems with the position over the last 2 years.

Diego Laxalt wasn’t the answer either, whilst it’s concerning to see the lack of game-time being given to former Shamrock Rovers defender Scales.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

However, if Hatate is viewed as a left-back, where he still played in on occasion this season, it’s a massive boost for Juranovic. You would imagine he would hop over to the other side and give Anthony Ralston some proper competition for his spot.

We’ve spent 3 months now featuring Croatia’s number one right-back in an unfamiliar position. It seems ridiculous when you put it that way. And the truth is Celtic need another left-back much more than they do another central midfielder.

It’s promising to read about the Hoops trying to sort this out quickly. Fingers crossed we get a deal done in swift fashion.

In other news, Celtic supporters tip hat to “committed” staff member after big decision is made