Diego Laxalt’s floundering performance against St. Johnstone on Sunday did Peter Lawwell no favours after it was claimed that the Celtic CEO has been “asleep at the wheel” by Hoops hero Kris Commons.
The incensed Parkhead icon, who won five Premiership titles during his time in Glasgow, has hit out at Lawwell and the Celtic board, believing that their recruitment strategy has played a key role in the Lennoxtown side sitting a shocking 13 points behind Old Firm rivals Rangers.
Neil Lennon could only lead Celtic to a draw with St. Johnstone at the weekend as pressure continues to mount on him, with the Hoops now boasting just two wins in a run of 12 fixtures across all competitions.
Commons has lashed out at Celtic’s hierarchy, believing that the Hoops’ transfer department are in a state of “decay and disrepair” years on from acquiring the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Moussa Dembele and selling them for sizable profits.
“Fans are entitled to ask how did it come to this? How can things have soured so badly to the extent that a club legend like Lennon is being hounded out the door?” he told the Daily Mail, via quotes by the Daily Record. “The board have to shoulder a large share of responsibility.
“They are as culpable at anyone. They’ve been asleep at the wheel in recent seasons and are now paying the price for their complacency. The recruitment has been absolutely abysmal. It’s not that Celtic haven’t spent money. They have spent plenty. It’s how they’ve spent it that’s been the problem.
“This season has seen them fork out a £2million loan fee for Shane Duffy, with a hefty pay packet to boot. A combined £10m was spent on Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti. None of them look up to scratch.
“Who sourced these players? There has to be some accountability in the recruitment department. The recruitment side of the club has been in a state of decay and disrepair for years.”
Laxalt joined Celtic on a season-long loan this October with reports claiming that it will set the Parkhead natives back £4.5m to turn the deal into a permanent move next year, but he failed to prove why he should be kept when started at home to St. Johnstone on Sunday.
Lennon fielded the Uruguayan in the starting line-up for his 12th Hoops appearance across all competitions yet saw enough – or rather a lack of – from the 27-year-old that he opted to haul the full-back off at half-time with the scoreline locked at nil-nil.
The 24-cap defender had registered just one successful tackle while failing to record any interceptions, clearances or block a shot, while losing possession 11 times and losing three of his five ground duels, per SofaScore.
Despite recording most of his 36 touches in St. Johnstone territory, Laxalt also attempted just one cross, which was misplaced, made one dribble and directed his only shot of the half wide of the target.
His slack performance saw Lennon forced to make changes at the break, and gave Commons yet another example he can use to bash Lawwell and the Hoops board.