Reo Hatate speaks after committing future to Celtic

By John McGinley

December 31, 2021

New Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate has sent a farewell message to his old club Kawasaki Frontale after signing a long-term contract at the Bhoys.

Hatate has been announced as a new signing at Celtic alongside compatriots Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi.

We’ve already heard from that pair to date, but Hatate has given his own thoughts on leaving Japan and what Frontale have meant to him over the last couple of years.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Speaking on their official club website he said: “I started my professional life at Frontale and played for two years at this club. It was a short period of time, but thanks to the director, staff, and teammates, I have experienced a lot. Every day was fun and exciting.

“If I hadn’t chosen Frontale when I entered the pros, I think a player in his second year of college wouldn’t have had this much experience. I’m really glad I was able to play with this team and I am grateful to all the clubs for their warm welcome.

“I will be playing for a different team next season and I want to challenge myself to grow as a footballer and as a person. I would be very grateful if you could keep an eye on me as well as Frontale, and I will be rooting for Frontale to win another league title and the Asian Champions League.”

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Hatate is a versatile player who can perform in a number of roles.

There’s a misconception going around he’s been signed as a left-back but he’s much more likely to be utilised in an attacking midfield role at Celtic, competing with the likes of David Turnbull and Tom Rogic in support of a striker. That’s where he’s excelled this season.

The 24-year-old arrives as a two-time J-League champion so knows all about the consistency needed to lift titles. Also on the verge of caps with the Japan national team, we should see the best of him while he’s in Glasgow.

In other news, Daizen Maeda speaks excitedly after signing for Celtic.