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McLeish Hails Special Technical Skills Of This Celtic Loan Signing: Will He Fit Into Lennon’s Setup?

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According to a recent interview conducted by Football Insider, former Rangers ace Alex McLeish has heaped massive praise onto the shoulders of new Celtic loan signing Diego Laxalt. The Uruguayan was brought in on a loan deal on transfer deadline day, as the Parkhead club found themselves extremely short on numbers in the full-back department. The ex-Scotland manager then went on to suggest that the AC Milan man has special technical skills and that a club like Celtic wouldn’t have made a move unless they thought he fit the profile they were looking for well.

Although the report has clarified that Alex McLeish hails Celtic loanee Diego Laxalt’s technical skills, whether or not he’s able to fit into Lennon’s system at Parkhead is a question that remains to be answered. Speaking on the matter, the former Rangers manager said, “I’ve only seen Laxalt in small doses. He seems quite a robust kind of player and I don’t know if he’s at the level of his illustrious international teammates for their technical game. But you would imagine coming from Uruguay he would have special technical skills. I saw him come in at the World Cup in one of the games.”

How Has Diego Laxalt Made A Name For Himself?

The Uruguayan speedster might not be the most prominent name in South American football, but it’s safe to say that he’s no stranger to the fans of the sport either. The 27-year-old has been around the top of the European game for several years now, having spent time at both the Milan clubs over the course of his career.

Originally a product of the Defensor academy, the full-back was given his first ever European break by Inter Milan, when he was scouted and signed all the way back in 2013. Despite joining Inter, a majority of the football he played in the following years was on loan.

Alex McLeish Hails Celtic Loanee Diego Laxalt’s Technical Skills - Laxalt in action
MILAN, ITALY – APRIL 24: Diego Laxalt of AC Milan controls the ball during the TIM Cup match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 24, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Having spent three full years as a member of the Inter books, the fact that he didn’t receive a single minute of playing time at the Serie A club would’ve been frustrating, to say the least. Laxalt made the switch to Genoa in 2016, where he went on to impress thoroughly. This prompted AC Milan to make their move just a couple of years after he left their San Siro rivals. He played in a total of 35 fixtures for AC Milan after the switch, while the most active part of his career was spent at Genoa, where he went on to make 117 appearances.

What Kind Of Player Is Diego Laxalt? 

The Uruguayan is a left-back by position but is capable of playing on either flank or even as a winger if required. Despite primarily being a defender, it must be conceded that Laxalt is at his best when afforded the freedom to bombard forward and create openings in the attack. Despite not being the most prolific player in the world, the speedster isn’t afraid to get up and down the pitch, while he boasts a good cross into the box as well. Capable of reading opposition play and making interceptions as well, Laxalt will surely be a strong defensive addition to this Celtic team.

Alex McLeish Hails Celtic Loanee Diego Laxalt’s Technical Skills: Smart Business By Lennon?

Irrespective of the fact that he wasn’t a regular first-team player at AC Milan, the sheer fact that he represented and played for a star-studded team like Uruguay at the FIFA World Cup, is proof enough of his quality. Be it defensively or offensively; it can be said with utmost confidence that the speedster is going to be an upgrade on the Celtic full-backs. At 27-years-old, Laxalt is effectively in the prime of his career, and utilising him in the right manner could yield unexpectedly positive results down the flank for the Hoops this season.

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