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