Green light for Celtic's Reo Hatate move as he signs off from Japan season with shock cup defeat
Celtic transfer target Reo Hatate has played his last game in Japan this season after his Kawasaki Frontale side were shockingly dumped out of the Emperor’s Cup by Oita Trinita this morning.
Frontale went into the tie as hot favourites after winning the J-League, but Hatate will now get a bit of extra rest this December after his team lost a semi-final penalty shoot-out.
Celtic have yet to announce Hatate’s switch to the Bhoys. However, it’s been widely reported he’s on his way to Glasgow, with Football Scotland suggesting an announcement could be made on January 1st.
Hatate will not have wanted to sign off from Frontale with a cup defeat.
However, this is effectively good news for Celtic as the player comes through unscathed injury-wise and will now get an extended break before the second half of the Scottish Premiership campaign.
The Japanese talent is a versatile player, able to play at left-back and in midfield. The smart consensus recently is that Celtic are signing him for his forward-thinking attributes and that he’ll be part of the Bhoys attacking midfield options in support of Kyogo Furuhashi.
As ever, no Celtic deal is done until it is announced. David Turnbull taught us that, of course. However, the signs are good that Hatate will be a part of Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys revolution.
Celtic have already had fantastic value out of Kyogo and if Hatate is half as good, we’ll be onto a winner here.
Japanese football expert Sam Robson provided us with a brilliant profile of Hatate this weekend which you can watch on our YouTube channel now.
In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s remarkable Celtic injury update ahead of Motherwell test.