Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Brendan Rodgers has revealed that there is no quick return pencilled in for Celtic midfielder

In truth 2023 hasn’t been far away from a write-off for Reo Hatate.

For the first two months of the year he was part of a storming Celtic midfield alongside Callum McGregor and Aaron Moy that made the decisive moves towards winning the treble. That midfield was so good that Matt O’Riley was mainly used as a substitute.

After less than 15 minutes of the home win over Hibs on March 18 Hatate picked up a hamstring injury that ruled him out until the end of April. When he returned the season was winding down although he did play his part in the Scottish Cup semi-final win at Hampden that booked a final appearance against Inverness Caley Thistle.

This season has been a strange one, pre-season in Japan he looked better than ever but an indifferent 45 minutes at home to Athletic Bilbao at the time of transfer speculation seemed to carry consequences.

David Turnbull started the first two SPFL matches of the season, coming on as a substitute at Pittodrie Hatate suffered a calf injury that saw him ruled out for another month including the pivotal 1-0 win at Ibrox.

After seven Celtic matches and two international appearances he had the chance to shine against Atletico Madrid, follow up on the near miss at home to Lazio.

Sadly, almost tragically, on October 25 a couple of minutes against Atletico were the last that Hatate would have in 2023. A serious hamstring tear that looks like taking up the best part of three months has left Celtic very short with Turnbull, Odin Thiago Holm and Paolo Bernardo filling in, almost on rotation.

Updating the situation with Hatate, Rodgers told Football Scotland:

I’m not sure Reo will be available for that (the Asian Cup). He’s progressing well but the likelihood is he won’t be involved in that.

Hopefully he’s back here by the end of that month. We’re judging that as we go. But he will be like a new signing for us.

The Asian Cup runs from January 12 to February 10, it looks like Hatate will be back playing for his club before the call of international football.

Hatate’s creativity has been badly missed, if the Scottish Cup tie against Buckie on January 20 is the target date for his return it will be a very very welcome winter boost.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment