Reo Hatate's cameo vs Hearts gives Celtic supporters hope for bright future
It has been an extremely busy 18 months for Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate.
The 24-year old has played a key role for the Hoops in the second half of the season, off the back of a full campaign back in Japan with former side Kawasaki Frontale.
In recent weeks, some Celtic fans have noticed a drop off in his performances, due to fatigue, with Hatate even mentioning how it has affected him since joining in January.
During last weekend’s 4-1 victory over Hearts, the Japanese internationalist was dropped to the bench for only the second time since the middle of February.
David Turnbull took his place in the midfield three, completing his comeback from injury with a first start since the Premier Sports cup final on the 19th of December last year.
However, Hatate was still introduced to the game with 27 minutes to go as Ange Postecoglou looked to freshen things up in order to secure all three points.
That change gave Celtic fans a potential look towards the Hatate we have on our hands going into next season.
The young midfielder looked fresh off the bench and was getting involved in the attacking and defensive side of the game.
Of course, we saw an early glimpse of what Hatate can produce in the first few months of his Celtic career, scoring outstanding goals against the likes of Hearts and Rangers.
But, it has been clear to see that past a certain point in matches, he has been struggling due to the fitness demands over the last few years with the number of games played.
What Hatate desperately needs at this point is rest over the summer, recharging before heading into his first full campaign as a Celtic player.
Many fans are excited by what the midfielder could have to offer off the back of a rest and complete pre-season under Ange.
The 2022/23 campaign could prove to be a big breakout year for Hatate in this Celtic side, and that is saying a lot given he has already enjoyed success with Postecoglou and the rest of the squad this season.
In other news, what Ange Postecoglou and Craig Gordon said to each other after Celtic beat Hearts.