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Neil Lennon Heaps Praise On Uruguayan Defender: Should Celtic Look To Sign Him Permanently?

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According to a recent report by the Daily Record, Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hailed the impact that AC Milan loanee Diego Laxalt has had on his team. The speedster made the switch from the Serie A over the course of the summer, and since getting settled, has started every match ahead of Greg Taylor. Speaking during Celtic’s pre-match conference against Aberdeen, Lennon clarified that he has been completely satisfied with the football that Laxalt has shown since coming in, and that he could turn out to be the perfect role model for Greg Taylor.

Although Neil Lennon has heaped praise on Celtic loanee Diego Laxalt, whether or not he stays a Hoops player at the start of next season remains to be seen. He said, “Diego has been an excellent addition, a superb asset to the squad. He’s very fit and he’s a great defender. He gives us good balance on the left. He’s aggressive in his play and in his passing. I’ve been absolutely delighted with him so far. Greg will learn a lot from Diego and vice versa – hopefully they can bounce off each other. Could we keep him beyond his loan? It’s early days.”

What Prompted Celtic To Move For Diego Laxalt? 

The Uruguayan speedster, despite not being a household name in the world of European football, was renowned all over the continent for his exploits at the FIFA World Cup. In spite of formerly being a member of the Inter Milan squad, the 27-year-old didn’t have the greatest of experiences playing for the San Siro club because he spent a majority of his time out on loan. Genoa is the one club where Laxalt was given the chance to shine, and that he did. Having made the switch to AC Milan in 2018, the same trend seemed to continue, as the playing time he received was extremely limited.

Neil Lennon Has Heaped Praise On Celtic Loanee Diego Laxalt - 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)

Despite all of this, the quality that he possessed as a footballer was apparent to see, and the lack of playing time was largely down to the fact that the Milan clubs had a number of better options to choose from. Even with that said, it takes nothing away from the talents that Laxalt possesses. The 20 times he featured for AC Milan during the 18/19 season is what triggered a National call-up, while his performances for Genoa were quite impressive as well. Having been made available on loan, Celtic were quick to recognise the experience and quality that he would bring to the table.

What Kind Of Player Is Diego Laxalt?

The Uruguayan international is a left-back by position but is capable of filling in over on the right of required. A rather attack-minded full-back in his own right, Laxalt’s biggest strength is the composure that he seems to display under pressure. Often seen carrying the ball around with confidence, it must be conceded that the speedster has the ability to deliver some deadly crosses into the area as well. Although the Milan loanee isn’t the best defender by any stretch of the imagination, he more than makes up for it with his passing and dribbling skills, especially when going in the offensive direction.

Neil Lennon Has Heaped Praise On Celtic Loanee Diego Laxalt: Should They Sign Him Permanently? 

Laxalt’s performances for Celtic so far have been nothing short of exemplary, and there’s no denying that he has come as an obvious upgrade on Greg Taylor. Still only 27, he is in the prime of his career and does have a number of good years left in the tank. Taylor is still only 22-years-old, and the inconsistency that comes with the lack of maturity has been one of his biggest issues. Working under a player who has represented for club and country at the highest level will come as a blessing in disguise to the youngster as well. Laxalt, despite not having the best first game, has taken to life at Parkhead like a duck to water, and unless Milan prise them out of a move, signing him should be made a priority for the summer.

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