WE were all reassured Reo Hatate, one of the three J-League signings to arrive at Celtic on Hogmanay, was so versatile he could play just about anywhere in the team.
The Japanese ace made his debut in a midfield role when the Premiership restarted against Hibs at Parkhead ten days ago and impressed to the extent he was awarded the Man of the Match honour following a convincing first showing in the 2-0 victory over the Easter Road outfit.
Ange Postecoglou gave the newcomer a rest during the 2-1 Scottish Cup triumph over League One bruisers Alloa on Saturday where his countryman Yosuke Ideguchi had to be helped off after an over-the-top follow-through from Muhamed Niang.
With Daizen Maeda, who completed the trio of recruits at the start of this transfer window, on World Cup duty with Japan, the Hoops were bound to miss his goal threat, especially with Kyogo Furuhashi crocked and out for a spell.
ON THE BALL…Reo Hatate in control against Hearts.
Once again, Reo stepped up to the plate to answer the call and illustrated he possessed devastating shooting power when he blasted the visitors into a 27th-minute lead with a ferocious right-foot drive from distance which flew past the startled Craig Gordon for the opening strike against Hearts at Tynecastle as Ange’s men held on for a 2-1 victory and three crucial points.
Next up, it’s Dundee United at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon – and another chance for Reo to display his remarkable range of skills.
At a reported £1.7million, the gifted performer looks like being the steal of the season.
And you just know there is more to come from a quality team man.
CQN‘s leading lensmen were in the capital to capture Reo’s magic moment.
WALLOP…Reo Hatate fires the ball goalwards as Craig Halkett and Craig Gordon keep an eye on the situation.
IN THE NET…Reo Hatate prepares to celebrate as Craig Gordon gets that sinking feeling with the ball nestling behind him in his net.
THAT’S MY BHOY…Filipe Jota congratulates the delighted Reo Hatate.
CHEERS, MATE…Ange Postecoglou acknowledges Reo Hatate’s breakthrough strike.
THUMB’S UP…Reo Hatate is all smiles as he continues his celebrations.
JIG OF JOY…Reo Hatate dances with delight as Greg Taylor adopts a more restrained attitude to his team-mate’s wonder strike.