There was a glimpse of the real Reo Hatate on Saturday afternoon as Celtic comfortably saw off Kilmarnock amid the Scottish monsoon.
If Hatate’s ambitions of playing at a higher level are to avoid being swept away, it is imperative that he sustains the same level and intensity to his performances.
Late to professional football and at 25, Hatate will know that time is not on his side as he looks to play at some point in his career in one the top five leagues.
The Japanese internationalist has the perfect platform with Celtic to take that further step; the Champions League is the ideal opportunity for Hatate to showcase the talent that he has and the manner in which he can influence a game.
Getting the best out of Hatate works for Celtic but also works for the player himself. Celtic have a fairly daunting task ahead of them in the four remaining Champions League games they have. It is imperative that players like Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi step up to the plate.
Having looked out of sorts in the opening few months of the season due to a mixture of injury and fitness issues as well as the head-turning aspect of potential suitors, Hatate will not capture the attention of too many outwith Scottish shores with routine domestic displays. It is the European stage where he will get the full gaze.