Celtic’s ‘Fab Four’ completed as Reo Hatate finally arrives at Lennoxtown

“I hope to be the best version of myself so I can contribute towards Celtic and I want the fans to see how I play and to know my style as soon as possible,” Reo Hatate…

Better late than never, the ‘ridiculously talented’ attacking midfielder Reo Hatate, who joins Celtic from J-League side Kawasaki Frontale on a four-and-a-half-year contract, has kept us waiting a week for his ‘Welcome to Celtic’ introduction to the Celtic Support, with some supporters seeing the funny side of the delay over the last few days…

Last night Ange Postecoglou spoke about Reo Hatate in the manager’s first interview of the New Year on Celtic TV,  saying this about the new signing: “Reo is a player I watched develop in Japan. His old team Kawasaki Frontale have been the outstanding team in the J-League for the last five years with some ridiculous talent in their ranks and Reo is one of them.

“He’s had a lot of success playing for a club that wants to win every week, which sounds similar to this club. He has the right character and I think he will develop over time,” Ange stated. “In terms of position, he’s a midfielder. He’s an attacking midfielder. He’s one I think will develop over time. He’s only had two years of senior football after the university system. He has a lot of upsides. I’m excited to start work with him.’

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The 24 year old attacking midfielder, essentially a number 8 who will wear the 41 jersey arrives at Celtic after being named in the Japanese league’s Best XI for the 2021 season and is fresh from winning back-to-back league titles with Kawasaki.

He’ll join up Kyogo Furuhashi and fellow January arrivals from the J-League Daizen Maede and Yosuke Ideguchi to complete Celtic’s ‘Fab Four’ of Japanese stars which is certainly created considerable interest in the Hoops over back home in Japan.

Reo today told Celtic TV in the traditional ‘Welcome to Celtic’ video: “I am extremely honoured to finally be able to wear this historical uniform. I’ve only been able to see Celtic Park on videos and pictures, so I’m really excited to finally be able to experience this great stadium and I’m extremely looking forward to meeting the fans and playing in front of them.’

“As a Japanese, it’s really exciting to see a manager who has experience in Japan and in the international stage. In Japan, I have always played against his teams but I’ve always observed and thought his way of playing is very strategical and attacking, so it’s extremely fun for the audience.”

“Being able to play in different positions has given me confidence as a footballer,” he said. “With this team, I want to be able to bring out the best in my style of play and contribute to the attacking side of things a bit more.

‘I hope to be the best version of myself so I can contribute towards Celtic and I want the fans to see how I play and to know my style as soon as possible. I will do my best in training and in the games and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Welcome to Celtic,  Reo!

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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