It’s just as well Celtic fans weren’t able to attend Parkhead this season. It would have been a pile of misery for supporters, something their protests back in November testifies.
You can hardly blame them when you consider they’ve just lost their grasp on the SPFL title.
Celtic’s recruitment ahead of this season has to be questioned. They signed the error-prone Shane Duffy on loan from Brighton while Vasilis Barkas hasn’t even come close to being worth the £4.5m they paid.
Like Duffy, he has been full of individual errors. Diego Laxalt hasn’t been a pillar of consistency either.
He has been usurped in the left-back pecking order by Greg Taylor and has only started the last two matches because of the latter’s injury. Having arrived from AC Milan, he was an eye-catching addition and it looked like a coup. However, those at the San Siro must now be laughing; he is simply not good enough.
Laxalt showed as much during the club’s 0-0 draw with Dundee United on Sunday. He lost possession of the ball on 20 occasions, missed a simple chance to score and left a vacant space in the left channel for Lawrence Shankland to dominate throughout the second half.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see him sent back to Italy in the summer. It was reported a few months ago that Milan were hoping to include the defender in a deal to sign Kristoffer Ajer. That, however, would be complete madness from the Hoops hierarchy.
Greg Taylor has really come into his own in the last few months but the ideal solution lies externally.
The Bhoys have been linked with a move for Brest left-back Romain Perraud in recent days, an interest that first arose in the winter window of 2019.
A few months down the line, the player himself admitted that Celtic had made a “concrete” offer to sign him. That was before his club at the time, Nice, turned it down.
Kieran Tierney hadn’t left yet but they would have had their ideal heir by signing the 23-year-old. The Frenchman, like Laxalt and Tierney, is rampant going forward and has a wand of a left foot. Expected goals from Perraud’s chance creation ranks at 75 out of 99 according to Smarterscout’s intriguing video-game-like ratings.
Clearly, his end product amounts to far more than the former. Perraud has contributed to eight goals in Ligue 1 this term compared to Laxalt’s solitary goal. Celtic’s pursuit of the French full-back is undeniably bad news for the Uruguayan’s attempts to stay in Scotland.
He is a misery defensively and makes poor choices in attack. The Hoops can do better; specifically Perraud. Nick Hammond must sign him in the summer.