Celtic regained their supremacy in Scottish football under Ange Postecoglou, but the Aussie manager’s move to Tottenham Hotspur has led to another managerial crisis at Parkhead. Although they are close to reappointing Brendan Rodgers as the new Hoops chief, the Northern Irishman might find it difficult to retain Postecoglou’s key signings. Reo Hatate has recently opened up on his future citing his ambition to play in Europe’s top five leagues.
“However, because I was able to achieve a certain amount of results throughout the season with Celtic, I started to think that I would like to challenge myself next time. If there is a chance, I would like to take on the challenge.”
The 25-year-old Japan international told GOAL as he is gearing up for clashes with El Salvador and Peru.
Postecoglou used his contacts and connection in the Far East to rope in an array of J1 League stars. Hatate, as well as Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda, proved to be an instant success in Scottish football. The midfield ace secured an integral status since joining Celtic in January 2022 and contributed to their successive Premiership triumphs along with Cup glory.
With 13 goals in 66 appearances across competitions, Hatate has exhibited his mastery in a box-to-box role. His swift runs and high work ethic made him a fan favourite at Celtic Park. While he is relishing an opportunity to play in Champions League on back-to-back occasions, his willingness to play at a “high level” could prove costly for the champions of Scotland.
Why Celtic Must Keep Hold Of Hatate
The Bhoys have ample options in the centre of the pitch with skipper Callum McGregor driving the show as a deep-lying playmaker. Besides Hatate, Matt O’Riley, Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull have also been instrumental in Postecoglous’ Celtic success, but the ever-present Japanese star helped them dominate their midfield game.
Rodgers, too, is lauded for an attacking brand of football. His passing and pressing game suit Hatate’s style and the club, therefore, must do everything within their capacity to keep hold of him for the upcoming term.
The ex-Leicester City and Liverpool boss conquered a ‘treble’ treble during his previous stint but, at the same time, failed to leave an impression in the European outings. It would be a colossal job to restore the lost pride in Europe, also, the resurgence of Rangers under Michael Beale could jeopardize their monopoly in the domestic competitions. He needs all the weapons in his armoury and thus go for silverware with all guns blazing.