The exclusion of Kyog Furuhashi and Reo Hatate from the last Japan national squad was met with widespread confusion not only from the Celtic fans, but also the Japanese media.
The manager Hajime Moriyasu, cited the standard of the Scottish league as a reason for their non selection but still included Daizen Maeda in the two March friendlies.
The decision to omit the Celtic midfielder is what was on Hatate’s former Under-12s National Select coach Tom Byer’s mind.
Speaking in The Celtic Way, Byer said, “As a player, Hatate is like Mr Wonderful isn’t he?
“He scores on the left, he scores on the right, he gets into the box so often; he rarely loses the ball and his dribbling and his through passes are excellent too.
“He is doing it all for Celtic so it must be frustrating not to get called up for Japan.
“He may not be playing in a top league, according to Moriyasu, but if you watch his highlights reel it is still mightily impressive.
“Hatate could possibly be the player of the year for the Scottish league.”
Will Hatate fulfill his national ambition whilst still at Celtic?
Absolutely. Moriyasu is known to be stubborn when it comes to choosing his squad but it will only be a matter of time before public opinion, coupled with Hatate’s brilliant form, forces his hand to choose the Hoops star.
Hatate has the potential to be a Japanese great. Even Moriyasu is not daft enough to dismiss that fact.
Until then, Reo just needs to keep doing what he is doing and with a feeling of needing to prove the Japan manager wrong, that can only benefit Celtic in the future.
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