ANGE POSTECOGLOU knew he was getting two for the price of one when he introduced Reo Hatate to the Celtic fans around this time last year.
The all-action man had impressed the Greek-Australian when the manager’s team Yokohama F Marinos faced the player’s Kawasaki Frontale in the J-League.
Hatate proved he could flit seamlessly between full-back and the anchorman role in midfield – versatility which enabled the Japanese international to answer Postecoglou’s SOS at the weekend when he took over the No.2 slot.
SEEING DOUBLE…Reo Hatate celebrates his second goal against St Johnstone – much to the approval of his trackside image.
NUMBER’S UP…Reo Hatate acknowledges the applause of the Celtic support.
The Hoops gaffer found himself short of cover when Anthony Ralston was forced to withdraw through injury and both Josip Juranovic, following his World Cup heroics with Croata, and Alistair Johnston, still waiting for his £3.5million switch from CF Montreal to be rubberstamped, were unavailable.
Hatate stepped up to the plate and delivered big-style with an excellent display that also included a double salvo in the 4-1 win over St Johnstone at Parkhead.
The opposition may have been forgiven for thinking they were seeing double – especially when the player’s image appeared on the trackside advertising hoardings following his goal celebrations!
There’s only one Reo Hatate – or is there?
Let’s hope there is double trouble in store for Hibs at Easter Road tonight as the curtain comes down on the action during a memorable year for the champions.
*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Hibs v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.