Hatate injury gives Turnbull’s chance to prove his credentials

Reo Hatate has been a big miss in the Celtic midfield. The Japanese midfielder of course went off injured early on against Atletico Madrid at Parkhead a fortnight ago and its looking like he will be missing for the next six weeks, maybe coming back for the Glasgow Derby at the end of next month against theRangers at Celtic Park.

Reo Hatate leaves the park injured. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

His absence is a big blow for the Hoops and that has been very evident in our last few games.Hatate is a class act and he brings an extra dimension to our midfield alongside Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley who are both superb players but they don’t possess that touch of finesse that Reo has in his locker.

That’s not a slight on the Matt and Callum as they bring their own skills to the middle of the park, but having Reo there completes our midfield trio perfectly.  They all fully complement each other.

Reo Hatate of Celtic arrives prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic FC at Tynecastle Park on October 22, 2023 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The last few domestic games have been testament to that with us struggling to break down sides a bit more than we usually do. There is nothing we can do about that of course until the turn of the year, and it will bring extra responsibility on the likes of Luis Palma and Yang to create things.

And it’s also a chance for David Turnbull to prove he’s worthy of a starting place in the Celtic midfield as the former Motherwell man runs down his contract and ponders whether to put pen to paper on a new Celtic deal. It looks like the issue with that as far as the player is concerned is the lack of first team football. Now with Hatate out injured he as the perfect opportunity to prove his worth.

I’m sure that David Turnbull is more than up to the task, but getting Reo back fit will still make Celtic a much better side.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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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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