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Tottenham face work permit problem in pursuit of two-time Scottish league winner

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Tottenham Hotspur will face work permit issue in pursuit of Celtic’s Reo Hatate

Tottenham Hotspur are believed to be in pursuit of Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate, as per the Daily Mail.

However, their pursuit could be halted as there is an apparent issue pertaining to the player’s eligibility to get a work permit to play in the Premier League. The FA’s Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) regulations are to blame for it.

Under the rules, Premier League clubs are allowed to sign foreign players only if they have played at the highest level or are expected to make a significant contribution to the game. Japan, Hatate’s homeland, are ranked 20th by FIFA.

Reo Hatate of Celtic celebrates after winning the Cinch Scottish Premiership.
Reo Hatate of Celtic celebrates after winning the Cinch Scottish Premiership. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Under the FA regulations, the player must have played 45% of Japan’s competitive games in the two years preceding the application for a work permit. Hatate, meanwhile, has won just a single cap in his entire career for Japan.

Why not someone else?

That will obviously prevent him from automatic qualification for the work permit to play in the Premier League and will raise big hurdles in Spurs’ path. Should the Lilywhites go through the trouble?

Hatate will be an unknown quantity to many Spurs fans and Premier League followers in general. The 25-year-old joined Celtic in January 2022, having spent his entire professional career in Japan before that.

Reo Hatate arrives at the stadium prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic FC at Tynecastle Park.
Reo Hatate arrives at the stadium prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic FC at Tynecastle Park. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

He has since won the Scottish Premiership twice along with other domestic titles. The 1.72m tall midfielder has a low centre of gravity, giving him impressive agility and close control when in possession. In the space of a year and a half, he has already racked up 13 goals and 14 assists in 66 games for Celtics.

He is no slouch in defence either and has also played as a full-back before. He has a bit of everything and can add good depth to multiple positions at Spurs. But if the work permit issue continues, Ange Postecoglou and co will be better off pursuing a more experienced player.

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The Australian manager’s arrival at Spurs would surely lead to Celtic players being linked to us. But Tottenham are better off focusing their strategy on safe options – James Maddison is a very good alternative.

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