Neil Lennon hints Celtic star is no longer first choice

The Celtic manager has appeared to drop a hint that one of his players is no longer going to be a first-team starter for the club.

There is no denying the fact that Celtic’s performance against the Rangers left a lot to be desired. The team just did not seem like they wanted to win on the day and lacked the hunger or fight required to win a Glasgow Derby. Steven Gerrard’s side were not spectacular either but they did not needed to be against a toothless opposition.

The whole team seemed to be having an off day at the same time. And it is hard to point fingers at anyone particularly for the display. It just did not work and there did not appear to be the urgency either in the players or in the manager to change things up when it was not going their way.

One man who did not come out with terrible grades from the game though was new Celtic signing Diego Laxalt. While he was not spectacular, one has to remember that it was his first appearance for Celtic and that too in the Glasgow Derby. He was thrown into the deep waters and he did not sink, like players more experienced than him did yesterday.

Neil Lennon also seemed happy with his new recruit. As reported by the Daily Record, he said:

“Of course we’ll be leaning on Diego a lot in the coming days before the game but we’re not just talking about this specific game.

“It’s a good career move and important for his development to play regularly and the British culture is a style he wants to adapt to.

“Most importantly he wants to play well for us. He made it clear he wanted to come and play here and he’s fully focused and excited at the season ahead. He knows he’s going to be an integral part of the squad.”

Of course, that will mean the end of Greg Taylor as the starting left-back at Celtic, a position that he has been able to hold on to for quite a few months now. The lack of competition was the main reason for that though.

The club allowed Jonny Hayes to leave when his contract ran out. And then, Boli Bolingoli’s disastrous trip to Spain in the middle of the pandemic put them in severe danger and they were almost forced to send him out on loan as well.

While Taylor has not been terrible in the chances that he has had, he has not been particularly good either. There are good facets to his game but at this point of time, he is clearly not ready to be a starter for Celtic.

Laxalt on the other hand has been at AC Milan and played in the World Cup quarter-final. While he might not have been great yesterday, he was better than most of his teammates. And hopefully with some time to adjust to the Scottish game, he will show his best to the Celtic fans.

He is only on a season-long loan though and Taylor will be smart to soak as much as he can from him. While he might not be a starter any longer that does not mean that he cannot be in the future.