Tuesday, September 27, 2022

AC Milan Defender Expected To Join Celtic By The End Of The Day: Smart Business By Neil Lennon?

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According to a recent report by renowned Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Premiership champions Celtic are said to be close to completing the signing of AC Milan full-back Diego Laxalt. The report suggests that the Uruguayan defender is expected to complete his move to Parkhead by the end of the transfer window and that his transfer is essential to the San Siro club being able to fund moves for their own defensive targets. Milan are said to be targeting a couple of players as well, and who they move for could come down to Laxalt’s departure.

Although the report has clarified that Celtic are expected to sign AC Milan’s Diego Laxalt tonight, whether or not the deal ends up taking shape remains to be seen. The Celts’ need for alternate full-back options has been no secret, and Laxalt would undoubtedly present them a well-balanced choice.

The Uruguayan is reportedly likely to arrive at Celtic Park on a season-long loan deal, with the international transfer window now officially into its final day. There has seemingly been a long-standing interest from Celtic, and the Milan club are said to view the Scottish champions as a good destination for Laxalt.

What Is Celtic’s Full-Back Situation?

The need to sign a new full-back actually emerged after the league season had already commenced. If anything, the right-back role was the one that Lennon would’ve been concerned about. Having to play central defender Hatem Abd Elhamed in Jeremie Frimpong’s absence would’ve been a reason for worry, but as it turns out, the 29-year-old has done a reasonable job in the slot. Instead, the position of concern has been at left-back. Despite starting the season with two distinct options to choose from, a controversial incident has left Celtic in a sensitive place.

Celtic Are Expected To Sign AC Milan’s Diego Laxalt Tonight - Laxalt in action
FERRARA, ITALY – JULY 01: Diego Laxalt of AC Milan during the Serie A match between SPAL and AC Milan at Stadio Paolo Mazza on July 1, 2020 in Ferrara, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)

Apart from first-choice left-back Greg Taylor, Neil Lennon also had the option of Belgian speedster Boli Bolingoli. Despite the defender’s odd impressive display last season, he hadn’t done enough to make the starting spot his own. Things took a turn for the worse when the second choice full-back decided to make an illicit trip to Spain, right in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Not only did he break the strict quarantine rules that were being implemented by the club and SPFL, but his rash decision put the lives of all the other players and staff in the division at risk. Neil Lennon was having none of it and immediately announced that Bolingoli would be departing on loan.

What Makes Diego Laxalt A Good Option For Celtic?

The 27-year-old is an experienced defender who has been around the highest level of the European game for quite a while now. The left-back has played for both the Milan clubs over the last seven years, and that alone should be enough to prove the quality that he has got. Despite being a household name in the Serie A, Laxalt rose to worldwide prominence during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he put in several starring displays for Uruguay down the left side. A pacey dribbler who isn’t afraid to take his man on, the speedster would fit into Neil Lennon’s attack-minded setup quite effortlessly.

Celtic Are Expected To Sign AC Milan’s Diego Laxalt Tonight: Good Move By Lennon?

The Uruguayan defender would bring a degree of experience and quality that Celtic don’t currently possess in the full-back roles. Both their first-choice options – Greg Taylor and Jeremie Frimpong, are relatively youngsters, which means that adding a player of Laxalt’s pedigree would be a step in the right direction. Not only would he add another dimension to the Hoops’ attacking and defensive play, but he could turn out to be the perfect role model for the other full-backs. Keeping up with the pace that Rangers have been setting hasn’t been an easy task for Celtic, and signing Laxalt would surely make their ambition for the season that much easier to achieve.

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