Celtic’s pre-season this time around is very different from the previous one. Heading into the 2021/22 campaign, there were a lot of worries and fears surrounding the club and how their season would turn out. They had finished trophyless and 25 points behind the Rangers in 2020/21. On top of that, the club needed to undergo a squad overhaul, having seen a number of key players leave and had Ange Postecoglou as their new manager, a relative unknown in Europe.
A year on, there is nothing but excitement this time around. The club are coming off a Premiership and League Cup double-winning season and have a spot in the Champions League group stage booked already.
They have enjoyed their pre-season till now as well, winning two of their games and drawing the other one 3-3 against Rapid Vienna.
They won 4-2 against Banik Ostrava but one man missing on the day was Reo Hatate, which raised concerns that he had been injured. And while the Japanese midfielder has indeed picked up a knock, fortunately it is not a serious one and he will return to training soon. As reported by The Scottish Sun, Postecoglou said:
"“He had a slight knock.“He played both games and the decision was made to leave him out.“Reo will train again on Friday for Saturday.”"
Celtic star has picked up slight knock during pre-season camp
Hatate was signed from Kawasaki Frontale in January and made a stunning start to life at Celtic. He was incredibly impressive during his first few games for the club and even put in an all-time great Glasgow Derby debut performance, scoring twice and assisting once in a 3-0 win over the Rangers at Parkhead.
His form would soon dip though and he appeared to be struggling in the last couple of months of the season, as it felt like he had run out of gas.
Now refreshed, there will be a lot of expectations around Hatate this season and he has impressed in pre-season. One will be hoping that he can consistently perform at the level that he showed when he first arrived at Celtic.