Celtic “Perfect Place” for Laxalt to Prove Milan Doubters Wrong

Diego Laxalt was out-of-favor at Milan in Italy, but now joining Scottish champions Celtic Glasgow, he has a new opportunity to revitalize his career.

Neil Lennon had been in the market for a left-back all summer long. Scottish outlets deemed it a “problem position” for Celtic and after signing Laxalt in something of a hurry on deadline day, it’s sending off the wrong signals.

One headline tagged Laxalt as the “cheap option.” British media isn’t one to shy away from controversy, and perhaps Celtic’s longstanding reign in Scotland has made them the “pantomime enemy” of the press because Laxalt is being dismissed before he’s even played for the club.

His position at Milan was dwindling. Laxalt started the last season on loan at Torino where he made 16 Serie A appearances before returning to Milan for the second half of the campaign, making four appearances as his side stormed into the European positions.

Milan had a fine restart to the last season. Under Stefano Pioli they claimed a 5th-place finish and they’ve taken their form into this term, winning all three of their Serie A games to-nil, and making progress in the Europa League too.

Positivity looms on the horizon for Milan, for Laxalt though, there is an even more exciting time ahead. It was clear that wasn’t needed at the San Siro going into this season, and probably true that he wasn’t wanted either.

The 27-year-old signed for the 2018-19 season but things never really took off for him. He never truly held a position down and he became a bench-warmer, a player to throw on in any position with 15 minuets to play.

He was an unused substitute in all of Milan’s games so far this season and now joining Celtic, with his confidence already low, seeing the emerging headlines will only (hopefully) spur him on to prove all those doubters wrong.

Laxalt is, after all, a fine player. One blessed with pace and the dynamism to play in several positions across the pitch. A Uruguayan international too, he’s shared the field with some of football’s elite. But his Milan fortunes were dictated by the prominent Theo Hernandez.

The Frenchman has that left-back spot on lockdown and rightly so. But Laxalt will walk straight into this Celtic side as their no.1 choice left-back, and he has the international break to psych himself up for one of Europe’s most intense rivalries – the Old Firm.

Celtic host Rangers in their upcoming fixture, before then hosting Milan in the Europa League group stages. Laxalt will of course be unavailable for that encounter, but he’ll sure be there to cheer his loan side on no doubt, and give a timely reminder to Pioli that he’s still playing at a higher level.

Those who know the prowess of Celtic fans will know that they take warmly to overseas players who want to try their hand in Scotland. Providing Laxalt gives his all for the shirt, the fans will love him, and if he can modernize that left-back role and give them something to excite about, then they’ll like him even more.

This is a really great opportunity for Laxalt but it remains one that needs to be taken with caution. It’s a completely different ball game out in the Scottish Premier League and at a club like Celtic, with huge amounts of pressure and expectation each season, it only adds stress onto the Uruguayan’s head.

But pay close attention to this one. Laxalt will shine for Celtic and give Pioli something to think about next summer. An exciting move, and one that Milan may end up ruing.