Celtic have a huge game this weekend in the Scottish Premiership against Old Firm rivals Glasgow Rangers. Obviously, the rivalry between the two is massive regardless of circumstances, but there is only one point that separates them in the SPFL, so this one is a huge match for both teams.
Celtic’s rivals are currently top of the table, so if The Hoops manage to win, then they can leapfrog above the Gers and take over in first place. This makes Neil Lennon’s team selection crucial, and former Hoops legend Frank McAvennie believes that one defender should be dropped for the game.
Who does McAvennie want Celtic to drop for the Rangers clash?
Speaking to Football Insider, McAvennie said, “I think the new boy [Diego] Laxalt will start. I think he will come straight in for Greg Taylor because you do not get to Inter and AC Milan if you are not an exceptional player.
“The experience of playing in that derby will stand him in good stead, you can imagine when the San Siro is full. His pedigree is there so I would put him straight in and I think he will do well.”
Should Laxalt start ahead of Taylor against Rangers?
AC Milan defender Laxalt, who is valued at £4.5 million, made a loan move to the Scottish champions to give them some healthy competition in the left-back position. This now raises the question as to who Lennon will favour in that role and former McAvennie has given his opinion on the matter.
Can you see Diego Laxalt starting for Celtic?
The majority of Laxalt’s games last season were on loan at Torino, and his stats back up why he could make his Celtic debut in the derby game. The Uruguay international featured 16 times in Serie A and averaged 1.2 tackles and 1.1 clearances per game, via WhoScored.
That is similar to how Celtic’s first-choice left-back Taylor has performed in his eight Scottish Premiership matches so far this season, per WhoScored. He has managed 1.4 tackles and one clearance on average in 2020/21.
However, Laxalt has less of an attacking threat, as Taylor has managed three assists (compared to Laxalt’s one), he has averaged 1.3 key passes per game this season, whereas the Uruguayan only averaged 0.4 key passes.
There is no doubting the quality of Laxalt, as he has featured 24 times for Uruguay, per Transfermarkt, and he has an abundance of experience in Serie A.
The healthy competition should bring out the best in both players, and there is no doubt that if he was selected, Laxalt would thrive in the derby.
As a player who has played in the Milan derby, it is understandable to see why McAvennie is backing him to start against Rangers.
Celtic fans, what are your thoughts on these comments? Let us know down below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience