Emilio Izaguirre reckons that Diego Laxalt will make his debut for Celtic in tomorrow’s derby against Rangers.
The Uruguayan full-back has only been in Scotland for a matter of weeks, having arrived as Neil Lennon’s final signing of an impressive summer window.
He will vie with Greg Taylor for the left-back role this season – starting with tomorrow’s game against our rivals.
Former Hoops favourite Izaguirre rates both players, but thinks the new Bhoy may be the one to get the nod.
“I played against Greg Taylor when he was at Kilmarnock and he’s a good player,” the Honduran told the Glasgow Times.
“Technically he’s good one-on-one. The game against Rangers is very physical and he’s maybe not the strongest player. And they have signed a good player in Diego.
“He played for Milan and Uruguay, he’s a team player with a different style. In South America Uruguay play a bit like teams in Scotland, they like strong players. It’s difficult to compare the two.
“Greg Taylor has already come up against players like Kent but I think Diego might play because it’s a big game and he’s used to them.
“He has played in World Cups, big games in South America and Italy. I think, for me, it will be Diego.”
Laxalt won’t be daunted by derby with no fans
Izaguirre makes a pretty pertinent point about Laxalt.
The 27-year-old has played in big matches in recent years – none more so than the World Cup quarter-final in 2018.
Laxalt has coped with big games in the past and won’t be overwhelmed by coming up against Rangers this weekend.
Furthermore, the fact Saturday’s game will be played with no crowd at Celtic Park surely makes any debut easier for the player to handle.
He won’t have to deal with the background noise, quite literally, of the game.
He can instead focus on putting in a good performance on the pitch and helping us to the win.
Time will tell whether Neil Lennon gives him an almighty chance to impress.
Hopefully he does. Laxalt has real quality and would provide a huge element of the unknown for our opponents.
The Hoops support would certainly be delighted to see the attacking wing-back deployed on the left-side.
Let’s hope we see it.