BBC pundit Alan Hutton has suggested that there could be some significant transfer interest in Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate during the upcoming summer window.
This season has seen the 25-year-old feature in all but four of Celtc’s games in all competitions, which shows just how vital he is for Ange Postecoglou.
Across his 33 appearances, the midfielder has scored eight goals and delivered eight assists, highlighting how much of a useful attacking figure he is from the middle of the pitch.
Hatate’s form this season has led to one pundit claiming that this could eventually lead to other clubs looking to sign the player.
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton had this to say when asked if he thinks Celtic should be concerned about there being potential transfer interest in Hatate once the summer window opens.
He said: “I think that is just part of it when you play for Rangers and Celtic. You look at [Matt] O’Riley when he was going through a real good spell, there was talk of him possibly going.
“When Hatate first came to the club I really thought he hit the ground running then he ran out of steam a little bit but you can see why. He is all action, all energy, he is everywhere, tackling, scoring, creating.
“It would not surprise me if people are watching him. But I think credit has to go to Celtic and their recruitment policy.
“They are finding players that a lot of us did not know much about and to come in and show what they are all about so soon is great for the club and the player. So there probably is people sniffing about.”
Should Celtic consider selling Reo Hatate this summer?
After seeing the Japanese midfielder score two goals in Celtic’s recent 4-0 win over Aberdeen in the SPFL, Postecoglou shared his praise for Hatate by saying that he is someone who is “constantly looking for ways to improve and for ways to get his game to another level.”
His overall performances in the league this season have earned the player a solid season rating of 7.22/10 from WhoScored, making him the fourth-highest-rated player at Celtic that has started more than one league game.
Taking all of this into account, it’s easy to see why Hutton thinks there could be some clubs looking to take Hatate away from Celtic this summer given how impressive he has been this season.
In our view, it should be a priority for the Bhoys to keep hold of their midfield star should any interest arise in him.