Who is Emilio Izaguirre – this object of Liverpool’s affections

Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre could be set to follow Honduran compatriots Maynor Figueroa and Wilson Palacios into Premier League football.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish watched the full-back during the Hoops’ recent Old Firm clash with Rangers, heightening speculation that Izaguirre could become the man to solve the club’s left-back woes. Aston Villa and Everton are also thought to be keeping tabs on Izaguirre. He has also attracted recent interest from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who viewed the Honduran as a potential replacement for Patrice Evra (who has since committed his long-term future to the Old Trafford side).

Izaguirre began his career with Honduras’ most successful club, C.D. Motagua, in 2004 and made his debut in the side’s 3-0 win over Universidad aged just 17. He established himself as a key part of Los Mimados squad, featuring prominently in the club’s 2007 Apertura and UNCAF-winning side.

His good form at club level prompted international recognition. Izaguirre earned his first cap for Honduras in 2007 and has gone on to appear a further 43 times for the national side. He represented Los Catrachos twice at last summer’s World Cup, appearing in the side’s defeats to Chile and eventual champions Spain.

After six years at Estadio Nacional, Izaguirre departed for Scottish side Celtic in the summer of 2010, arriving for a fee of £580,000.  He has impressed greatly since his move to the SPL, racking up three assists and one goal in 21 appearances for the Hoops. The consistent Honduran is sound defensively and offers a threat going forward, as highlighted by his run and cross to assist Gary Hooper’s second goal during last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Rangers.

However, any club looking to make a move for Izaguirre has been warned off by Hoops manager Neil Lennon.

“I am not at all concerned other clubs may be looking at him,” he said last month.

“And I’m not surprised because he is a quality player. But, he is our player, and will not be going anywhere.”

If Izaguirre keeps up his good form, it appears as though Lennon will face a tough battle to keep the highly-rated Honduran at Parkhead this summer.

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