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Reo Hatate is keen to make his Celtic debut against Hibernian on Monday despite the quick turnround following his transfer from Kawasaki Frontale, via quotes by the Glasgow Times.

Ange Postecoglou made the midfielder one of his latest J1-League recruits after the Hoops struck a £1.5m deal last month. Hatate arrived at Parkhead with fellow Japanese top-flight imports Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi, and follows summer signing Kyogo Furuhashi.

The Premiership winter break has afforded Hatate a brief respite from fixtures as he settles in at Lennoxtown. The 24-year-old played his last game for Kawasaki Frontale on December 12 for his 38th appearance of 2021, starting each.

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Yet Hatate does not believe his busy schedule last year is a reason to stop his Celtic debut against Hibernian. The four-cap Japan international is instead eager to face Hibs and show the Parkhead fanbase what Postecoglou sees in him.

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“I have had quite a short break since the end of the last season, but that doesn’t matter to me,” Hatate said. “In one week, we have a game at Celtic and there will be no excuses from me. I will prepare myself and be 100 per cent ready for the match.”

He added: “It is very exciting to think about that we will be playing at the stadium next Monday. I want to show my football in front of the Celtic supporters so that they can remember what I have done. I am very excited to be here.”

Should Postecoglou hand Hatate his Celtic debut vs Hibernian?

Postecoglou may be in two minds about handing Hatate his Celtic debut against Hibernian, given how much his January transfer played for Kawasaki Frontale throughout the last year.

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The Australian will be anxious of throwing the Suzuka-native in too soon, given he suffered with hamstring injuries in 2021. But Postecoglou will also share Hatate’s eagerness to play for Celtic and show the versatile skills he displayed in Japan.

Hatate featured at left-back and left-wing, as well as in central midfield roles for Kawasaki Frontale last year. He also offered six goals and three assists across all competitions, with efforts recorded in each of the positions played.

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