Diego Laxalt’s name is enough to provoke nightmares for some Celtic supporters and indeed most people associated with Parkhead.
When the Bhoys brought the left-back to Paradise last summer, it looked like a very efficient deal on paper. Celtic were signing an international proven defender from one of the world’s biggest clubs in AC Milan with no transfer fee attached.
That being said, it’s just as well they didn’t shell out anything because his spell in Glasgow has been rife with inconsistency. On his day, Laxalt is a vibrant, energetic individual on the left-hand side of the field, but that day is very much a rare one.
He has been a liability from a defensive point of view, and when the Hoops played Aberdeen on Wednesday, it was hardly a surprise to see him dropped from the starting XI.
Should Celtic sign Laxalt permanently?
Laxalt saved one of his worst performances of the season for their most crucial game in recent memory. The Uruguayan started the Scottish Cup fourth round clash with Rangers but was all at sea for both of their opposition’s goals.
For the first strike, he was caught napping down down Rangers’ right flank and he was nowhere to be seen as Joe Aribo strode forward.
He was then led a merry dance by Aribo for their second goal. The former Charlton man performed a marvellous piece of skill which completely fooled Laxalt, who was left in the dust. As Rangers ran out 2-0 winners, it ended the only remaining hope Celtic had of winning a trophy this season.
Consequently, it was an outing which saw the Milan loanee rake in some of the fiercest criticism we’ve seen all season.
John Hartson claimed that John Kennedy would have been left “disgusted” with his display before saying on Premier Sports, calling it “a horror first half”, That was an assessment with which Celtic podcaster Paul John Dykes agreed, describing it as a “horror show.”
With that in mind, it feels most unlikely that Dermot Desmond and the Hoops hierarchy will utilise their option to buy him in the summer. Instead, they should consider signing Romain Perraud from Brest.
Speaking about the 23-year-old’s game in the past, French football expert Adrien Dryll said: “Romain Perraud rapidly became a fan-favourite at the Stade Charlety, thanks to some Roberto Carlos-esque rockets from outside the box.”
He continued: “Keeping everything in perspective, Perraud’s style is, on some points, quite similar to the former Real Madrid full-back’s. He has a fighting mentality, an incredible shot power and a left-foot that has proven throughout the season to be a deadly weapon for set-pieces.”
That’s quite the appraisal for the young full-back, but you only need to assess the statistics to see how he’d be an upgrade on Laxalt.
Clean in the tackle and a ray of quality in the final third, he’d be a very good successor to the on-loan Uruguayan.
AND in other news, Celtic moving towards 3 landmark hires after big manager U-turn, Desmond surely elated…