Celtic manager Neil Lennon handed recent loan signing Diego Laxalt his debut last weekend in the Old Firm derby and gave him another start in the Europa League game against his parent club AC Milan on Thursday.
It wasn’t the best start to his loan spell at the Hoops as the club lost both fixtures and the 27-year-old came in for some criticism following his initial performances. However, former Scotland full-back Alan Hutton believes this negative appraisal is somewhat unfair.
What Hutton had to say about Diego Laxalt
Speaking to Football Insider about Laxalt’s debut in the Old Firm, Hutton said: “Being thrown into that game as your first game is asking an awful lot. He did look energetic.
“He’s not played an awful lot of football, so he died out. A few times he put the ball into the box needlessly when you would expect a little bit more. I always think that its difficult when you’ve not played an awful lot to get thrown into such a big game.
“Tavernier had his number all day, he didn’t give him a sniff. I think Rangers played well and were tactically so good that they snuffed him out and didn’t allow him to be that attacking threat that I’ve seen through clips from what he’s done at other club.
“It’s too early to judge. It would be very harsh to judge him on that performance. He’s not played a lot and to throw him into that, it’s very difficult. I’ll wait and we’ll see how he goes in the future.”
A tough start at Celtic for Laxalt
When the Hoops lost 2-0 to Rangers, Laxalt picked up a lowly 6.8 rating from SofaScore. The Uruguayan lost possession 26 times and commited four fouls in his team’s derby defeat, which leaves them four points behind their table-topping rivals, albeit with a game in hand.
Upon Laxalt’s arrival at Parkhead, Lennon said: “I admire him very much. I watched him in the World Cup and thought he had an outstanding competition. He was playing in a very good Uruguayan team with some outstanding players and he looked very comfortable in that company.”
Laxalt may have faced some early criticism, but he still seems to have the firm backing of Hutton and, crucially, his manager.
In other news, Laxalt is not the only Celtic ace to receive criticism lately. Have a look at who one BBC pundit was slating following the defeat to AC Milan here!
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