Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Celtic Eyeing Bosman Move For This Versatile Japanese Star – Why They Must Make It Happen

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from Football Scotland is believed to be true, Celtic are eyeing a winter swoop for Japan youth international Reo Hatate. The 23-year-old Kawasaki Frontale star would see his contract expire in January and the Hoops, therefore, have contacted the player’s entourage over a potential Bosman transfer.

The decision of appointing Ange Postecoglou as the new Parkhead boss raised a few eyebrows, but the former Socceroos chief seems to have earned the supporters’ trust overcoming early jitters. The brand of football that he has introduced is eye-catching, and a decent run of results of late depicts his mastery in terms of scripting a squad overhaul during the summer window.

The signing of Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe has been a masterstroke. The ex-Yokohama F. Marinos gaffer recommended the little known attacker whom he monitored minutely during his managerial stint in the Japanese top tier. The success of Furuhashi has now led to more speculations involving an array of Asian talents.

Hatate is the latest name linked who is hailed for his versatility. He has exhibited his expertise both as a left fullback and wingback, as well as in an advanced midfield role. He has also featured down the wings and his addition would enrich the Hoops with flexibility and squad depth. The Japan U23 international has fired in 11 goals and laid on 10 more in 72 appearances for Kawasaki Frontale [stats via Transfermarket] and his emergence in recent years seems to have impressed Postecoglou enough.

Celtic target Reo Hatate in action for Japan's Olympic team
SAITAMA, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Reo Hatate #13 of Team Japan reacts during the Men’s Football Semi-final match between Japan and Spain on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

How Celtic Might Benefit From The Deal

The Hoops, meanwhile, do not have a steady left-back option to challenge and cover Greg Taylor. Josip Juranovic is being preferred as a makeshift amid the Scotsman’s injury absence, whereas Adam Montgomery, Liam Scales and Boli Bolingoli have also been deployed on previous occasions. Montgomery is more suited as a wide attacker and the outcast Bolingoli does not hold a long-term future. Scales is still settling down since his move from Shamrock Rovers and the manager is yet to figure out his best position given his ability of featuring across the backline.

However, Celtic are reportedly viewing Hatate as a midfielder. Tom Rogic, Callum McGregor and David Turnbull have been impressive in box-to-box roles, but the club lack enough creative spark from the bench as the likes of Nir Bitton, James McCarthy and Ismaila Soro are only good enough at the base. It is to be seen now how the youngster attunes to the aggression of Scottish football and depicts his pace, flair and swift skills in the middle of the park.

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