Kris Boyd doubts whether Diego Laxalt is an upgrade on Greg Taylor, after watching him in action for Celtic this season.
Laxalt arrived on loan towards the end of the extended transfer window and has gone on to make eight appearances for the Bhoys in all competitions.
Like everyone else, he was dire against Sparta Prague on Thursday night, as Neil Lennon’s side slipped to a heavy 4-1 defeat.
However, he’s been one of the few bright spots of the team over the last couple of months, bringing energy to the left flank and looking to be a more formidable option than Taylor.
His performance away to Lille in the Europa League was particularly impressive, making a mammoth 13 tackles on the night. His display in France was proof enough he has the potential to be a star in Glasgow.
He’s also one of only two summer signings currently getting regular action in the starting eleven, alongside Mohamed Elyounoussi.
In a column questioning Celtic’s recent transfer strategy under Nick Hammond, Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell in general, Boyd chose to single out Laxalt, before going on to slam our current striking options.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said: “Greg Taylor appears to have been made the scapegoat for some of the woeful displays. Diego Laxalt was brought in to replace him but, while he has a more glamorous name and backstory, I doubt very much whether he is an upgrade on Taylor.
“At the other end of the park, Celtic also have big problems but for different reasons. Of the four strikers at the club, why are Leigh Griffiths, Patryk Klimala and Albian Ajeti still not firing on all cylinders?
“We have been hearing for the past four months about how good they will be when they finally get going. Yet, just a couple of days away from December and they still don’t look up to full speed. That is criminal in my book.”
Laxalt has been thrown in at the deep end at Celtic, playing in some of our most difficult matches of the entire season so early in his Hoops career.
We’ll have a much clearer picture of how much value he has over the coming period when the team will be hoping to find consistency in the Scottish Premiership.
Taylor was looking poor, to my eyes, against a weaker standard of opponent earlier in the campaign.
Boyd has a point about Celtic’s strikers though, as much as it pains me to admit it, as well as our signing record in 2020 generally.
Big signings like Albian Ajeti, Shane Duffy and Vasilis Barkas haven’t yet cemented themselves as first-team regulars, which should be of significant concern to supporters.
It’s too early to say ‘the model’ has failed, as the Sky Sports man claims, but we do need better long-term thinking at the club.