Would it be harsh to take Reo Hatate off Celtic’s spot-kicks?

One thing that Celtic have struggled for in recent years is a good penalty taker.

The last great spot-kick executioner I can really recall was Moussa Dembele, who always seemed clinical from 12 yards. Dembele even had the audacity to convert a panenka penalty against Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Last season, many players tried their hand from the spot, with Callum McGregor and Giorgos Giakoumakis both having unsuccessful attempts. It looked like Aaron Mooy was finally going to be the man to call upon, as he was consistently scoring from the spot at the peak of his powers, but with Mooy retiring in the summer, the search goes on for a good penalty-taker.

With Reo Hatate scoring a rather unconvincing spot-kick against Livingston, then missing his chance from 12 yards at the weekend at Tynecastle against Hearts, it raises the question around who should be taking the penalties for Celtic going forward?

Kyogo Furuhashi

The natural player to turn to for a clinical finisher would be your striker, and Kyogo has only ever taken one penalty for Celtic in his time at Parkhead, that one coming at the tail end of last season against Kilmarnock.

The Japanese forward slammed his effort against the post, but the miss was excused due to the fact that Kyogo had already been on the scoresheet on the day. Despite that miss, giving Kyogo the responsibility from the spot again could be worth a shot given his exceptional goalscoring record since arriving in Glasgow.

Luis Palma

In his short time at Celtic so far, Palma is quickly becoming a fan favourite. He has scored some phenomenal goals over the last few weeks and has shown he is clearly a good dead-ball exponent.

The Honduran has shown some great technical abilities and, during his career, he has scored all four penalties he has taken, including two already this season.

Matt O’Riley

The Dane has been the standout player for Celtic so far this season and is in the best run of form of his career at Parkhead. His finishing has come on leaps and bounds this term, with that part of his game previously being the only real weakness that fans could identify.

O’Riley has only ever taken three penalties in his career, all of them as a youth player in Fulham’s developmental ranks, scoring two out of the three.

Given his improvements and high confidence, letting O’Riley try his hand from the spot could be a good idea.

The penalty scored by Reo against Livingston came after Callum McGregor stepped in as captain and swapped the spot-kick taker from Kyogo to his countryman. Is there such a bad thing as a bad penalty that was scored? Of course, Reo got the job done, but it was far from being clinical. This was followed up by a cleanly struck penalty, which ricocheted off the Hearts post to safety. A better strike but ultimately a failure of a spot-kick.

Perhaps it is harsh on Reo to talk of him being dropped from penalty duties, but the most natural candidate, David Turnbull, looks some way off the starting XI so a decision has to be made.

Against a side like Atlético Madrid on Wednesday night, a free hit from 12 yards could turn our entire Champions League campaign around.


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