With the arrival of Ange Postecoglou as Celtic manager, a lot of the club’s focus has shifted towards Japanese players. The former Australian national team boss was at Yokohama F. Marinos before his move to Glasgow. As a result, he clearly has an advantage when it comes to identifying players from there, and the Hoops have signed Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi.
Kyogo has been incredible for Celtic and the only problem with him have been his injuries. Maeda has established himself as a first-team regular as well. Hatate made a sensational start but has appeared to fade away a lot late in the season. Ideguchi is the only one that has not made much of a contribution till now but one will expect big things next season, especially with Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton leaving opening up space in the team.
The most interesting of the three has been the case of Hatate, who looked flawless in his first several games for the club after arriving in January, even putting in an all-time great Glasgow Derby debut performance in the 3-0 win over the Rangers at Parkhead. But as the season progressed, he appeared to be struggling with fatigue and his performances took a major dip.
In that regard, Celtic have been handed a major boost. Hatate has not been included in the Japanese national team squad for the upcoming Kirin Cup, as reported by JFA. Kyogo and Maeda have made the list.
Celtic handed major boost by the announcement of the Japan national team squad
Being left out of the Japan national team squad must come as a disappointment for Hatate, but at the same time, he does need some rest.
It is understandable why he looked tired towards the end of the season. He had played an entire season in Japan before moving straight to Celtic in January. On top of that, the intensity of the Scottish game and the fixture congestion must have been a new experience for him as well.
Now, with that experience under his belt and knowing what to expect at Parkhead, one would hope that Hatate will be able to put in consistent performances next season. He has already shown what he is capable at the top of his game. Now, it is about putting in those performances game after game.
This article was originally posted here