Lovable Celtic loanee Diego Laxalt has had a very strange spell at the club.
The manager who brought him in has left, he had to play against his parent club in the Europa League, and he’s been in and out of the team. A Uruguayan international, the famous Paradise atmosphere has eluded Laxalt thus far.
Yet, in his first interview in English, Laxalt has described his time as a “great adventure”. He’s even learned Scottish phrases. “Alright, wee man?” aside, there were none he could share on Celtic’s in-house media. Makes sense, really.
In what could be a hint at a permanent move, the polyglot on loan from AC Milan has talked to the Celtic View Podcast, speaking in glowing terms about his team-mates, the city and the club.
Laxalt said [Celtic View Podcast]:
“It’s been a good experience. I learn new tutor, new culture, new style of football. I think it’s been a great adventure for me and my family.
“[Covid is] hard for me and my family, but also it’s hard for everyone. I think it’s no more difficult for us than for other people. Maybe one thing I [would have liked] to see is fans [at] Celtic Park.
“I think it’s a great group of boys. Not just the players, also everyone at the club has made me really, really welcome. I get on well with everyone, I think I’m a friendly guy. A friendly boy. Maybe sometimes when the Scottish accent is really difficult to understand, but it’s ok.
“It’s been a hard season, but in the last three games we’ve been getting better. I think for everyone, it’s been a strange season. Especially for the biggest club, because I haven’t had the fans in the stadium. I think that’s really strange for everyone.
“We need to finish as well as possible. At the big clubs, every season you need to win something. I think we must win the Scottish Cup.”
Diego Laxalt talks up Broony influence
Granted, it’s not the most explosive interview you’ll ever see. However, there are interesting implications here. It’s doubtful that Diego will have got out and about much in Glasgow, but his willingness to learn English points at a longer-term stay at Celtic.
It could set back the Bhoys a fair wedge, but the 28-year-old has impressed in spells in the Green and White.
Speaking out his captain, Laxalt agreed that the club will miss Broony when he departs for Aberdeen in the summer:
“[Brown] is a great team-mate, and also a great captain, with a big personality. Of course, the club will miss him.”
Likeable Uruguayan’s future is uncertain
Clearly, Laxalt is keen to play in front of the Celtic supporters. If he isn’t brought back for the 21-22 season, he’ll have the dubious honour of being one of the only Hoops players to never actually kick a ball for Celtic in front of supporters. Such are the times we’re currently living in.
AC Milan reportedly want to do business for the Uruguayan, but a mooted €9m fee might be a little much by our standards. There will be a significant turnover of players in the summer, with a new Director, CEO and manager set to come in the near future.
Does Laxalt, at 28, represent good value for Celtic? It’s not entirely clear if that’s that case. However, he’s obviously likeable, enjoys playing for the club, and has made an effort to connect with supporters.
It’s hard not to like the guy.