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Celtic: Postecoglou must axe Reo Hatate for Ross County clash

Celtic are back in SPFL action this afternoon with an away match against Ross County.

The Hoops will be looking to put last weekend’s defeat against Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final behind them and add some more league points to their tally to take a step closer to securing the title.

On the chalkboard

One player that started in the defeat at Hampden Park that should not be in the team on this occasion is midfielder Reo Hatate.

Celtic signed the 24-year-old during the previous January transfer window in a deal worth £1.4m from Japanese club Kawasaki Frontale.

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Since then, the midfielder has made 17 appearances for the Bhoys across all competitions, scoring four goals and providing three assists along the way.

Despite his efforts in front of goal, his display last weekend was not up to scratch and arguably cost his side a place in the Scottish Cup final.

According to the Daily Record, Hatate was “too often second best in 50-50 challenges and dominated by Jack and Lundstram for long spells,” in addition to his “lack of authority in [the] engine room.”

As well as his defensive shakiness, his attacking output was rather lacking as well, with The Herald saying that he “never really threatened in the final third.”

With this in mind and the fact that Celtic will be looking to pick up all three points before coming face to face with Rangers again in the SPFL next weekend, Postecoglou can’t risk seeing the midfielder put in another performance as he did last time out.

Should Postecoglou drop Hatate against County?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Therefore, it could be worth taking Hatate out of the starting XI on this occasion to see if he would be better off being used as a potential substitute if needed.

Having been slammed for a “nasty” tackle he committed back in March by former top referee Steve Conroy, the £14.5k-per-week midfielder has racked up seven fouls in total in the league.

Moving forward, when it comes to putting his starting XI together to take on County, Postecoglou’s best plan of action could be to leave Hatate out this time unless he’s convinced the Hoops boss in training that his dire display last weekend was just a one-off.

In other news: Sold for £2m, now worth £540k: Celtic struck gold on £17k-p/w dud who “had issues”

Article title: Celtic: Postecoglou must axe Reo Hatate for Ross County clash

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