Lawwell’s Best Ever Window, Ntcham’s verdict on Laxalt: Quick, sharp, motivated, has right mentality and works hard

Celtic last night completed the season long loan signing of Diego Laxalt as Peter Lawwell got the need for a left wing back over the line. And credit where it us due, given we have criticised the Celtic CEO in previous seasons for not doing enough during these transfer windows, but this time Lawwell has done all we could expect, strengthening the squad in all the key areas and perhaps more importantly resisting the temptation to cash in on some of the Celtic stars who were attracting attention.

That means that this morning the French pair of Odsonne Edouard and Olivier Ntcham are still Celtic players, despite significant interest in both, Kris Ajer will play For Celtic rather than against us in the Europa League ties against AC Milan and Ryan Christie is not about to discover that the grass is not greener at Turf Moor than at Paradise. (Can the support now get off Christie’s back please?)

Given the complete lack of fans due to the somewhat OTT Government approach to this – why is it okay to cram fresher students into halls of residence while it is not okay for limited numbers of football supporters to socially distance at outdoor arenas like Celtic Park? – it would have been easy for Lawwell to attempt to balance the books with a few sales.

Maybe he’s got an eye on his own legacy and what’s to be remembered as the CEO who delivered Ten-in-a-Row rather than the one who sold the French crown jewels and threw it away. Had that happened Peter Lawwell is smart enough to know that he’d not be remembered fondly.

And as for Odsonne Edouard, who Celtic now value higher than the highest figures previously mentioned (perhaps a reason for the loss of form ?) Neil Lennon needs to get him head back into the correct place for this historic season ahead. If Odsonne wants to leave next summer, having delivered Ten-in-a-Row, then so be it. The Celtic support get that but it is time for Celtic’s talisman to get his eyes back to the big prize.

Diego Laxalt spoke to Celtic TV last night after completing his season-long loan deal from AC Milan and Celtic’s first ever Uruguayan can’t wait to get started.

“I’m extremely happy to have signed for a club that is very well known around the world,” Diego Laxalt told Celtic TV, speaking through an interpreter. “It is a club with a lot of tradition and I can’t wait to get out on the football pitch.

“I know there’s no game this weekend but I’m going to start training and I can’t wait to meet my new team-mates. And for me, when we’re standing in the tunnel and then out on the field, that’s when we start building up memories and building as a team,” the 27 year old Uruguay international said.

“I first heard the rumours about a week ago but I didn’t want to take anything seriously until I was absolutely certain. I was very calm about it, but when I heard it was happening, I couldn’t believe it and I’m extremely happy that it’s become a reality.

“I couldn’t think of any other Uruguayan player who has played for Celtic, so I realise I’m the first one. I’m extremely happy about that and I’m a player who likes to leave everything on the pitch when I’m playing. I’m very happy. I love the colours and I can’t wait to wear the strip in a match.”

Laxalt will have one familiar face in the Celtic dressing room when the players all return from international duties as he played alongside Olivier Ntcham at Italian side Genoa.

Capped 24 times for his country, Laxalt will wear the No.93 jersey at Celtic and just like Paddy Roberts did against Manchester City, he’s be able to play against AC Milan in the Europa League – a UEFA system that is far superior to the one that Scottish football uses incidentally.

“I’m very happy to share again new memories with Olivier,” Diego added. “I spent a lot of time with Olivier at Genoa when we played there together, and he’s an extremely good player and a good person as well. So I’m very happy and I’m looking forward to playing with him again.

“It’s just a coincidence that Celtic and AC Milan been drawn in the same group, but at the moment my head and my heart are with Celtic and I’m going to try to do my best, no matter the opposition, whether that’s Milan or whoever. My heart is now with Celtic.”

Ntcham also welcomed his former Genoa team-mate to Celtic: “It’s great that Diego has joined Celtic because he’s a very good player and a very good guy.

“He’s a really quick player, really sharp and is very motivated. He’ll be a good player for Celtic because he’s got the right mentality and always works hard for the team.”

Welcome to the greatest club in the world Diego!

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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