Why it’s got to be Reo Hatate ahead of David Turnbull in Rotterdam

Reo Hatate is now back to full fitness and has done more in his half-hour appearance than David Turnbull has in the last few games.

Harsh? Yes maybe but it’s the truth. Yes, I know David set us up for all three points yesterday with a finely taken spot kick, but he has barely kicked a ball these past few games.

16th September 2023 Celtic Park, Scottish Premiership, Celtic versus Dundee – Reo Hatate  warms up as he returns to the squad. Photo ActionPlus David Young

Brendan Rodgers raised more than a few eyebrows when he started Turnbull over Hatate  in the opening game of the season against Ross County. To be fair to him, David took his chance with both hands and grabbed a brace in the 4-2 win.

But since then he’s looked average and certainly doesn’t look like a player playing for a new contract. Turnbull lacks pace and hasn’t got the skill that Reo possesses, but he can nick the odd goal or two, but he hasn’t managed that in Reo’s absence, until yesterday.

David Turnbull of Celtic scores penalty. Celtic v Dundee, Cinch Scottish Premiership, 16 Sep 2023 Photo Robert Perry/Shutterstock

For me and a lot of other Celtic supporters it proves that Reo Hatate has got to start over David Turnbull when the Japanese midfielder is fit. Our midfield looks more fluent and threatening when Reo is on the park. Everyone can see it and it really is that simple.

In fact it’s glaringly obvious and Brendan will certainly notice it too. I like David and hoped he would kick on under Brendan, but sadly that hasn’t happened and doesn’t look like it will on current form. We’ll leave that to Brendan to work his magic but for now Reo Hatate has got to be the first pick now, starting on Tuesday night in Rotterdam. He makes us a much better side.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. No offense to anyone but if a Celtic player can’t shine against ross county then they shouldn’t be a Celtic player. David has always been the go to sub that comes on when we’re usually a couple of goals up and he looks good and usually grabs a goal or two Reo is our best midfielder in my opinion and cal mac plays better when he has reo beside him as he always wants the ball.

  2. David turnbull has done as much if not more than Matt o’reilly (fans favourite can do no wrong but hides and light wait in the tackle) Harsh no it’s the truth
    Not having a go at oreilly but he’s still young but I don’t think he’s any where near the finished player and reminds of Tom Rogic with his body language, can look lethargic and half arsed.
    Turnbull needs games to be the player he can be not getting knocked at every opportunity