Celtic icon Emilio Izaguirre has waxed lyrical about Greg Taylor ahead of Saturday’s Glasgow derby at Parkhead, though he thinks Neil Lennon will opt for Diego Laxalt at left-back.
The Hoops host Rangers at Parkhead in a 12:30pm kickoff, hoping to leapfrog them at the top of the Premiership table, a springboard to then pull away with their game in hand.
To date, Taylor has been getting the lion’s share of game time at left wing-back for Celtic this term, but some of his performances have yielded criticism from sections of the Bhoys fanbase.
Laxalt joined the Bhoys on loan from AC Milan on transfer deadline day, giving Lennon a new option on left-back and food for thought ahead of the big game.
“I played against Greg Taylor when he was at Kilmarnock and he’s a good player,” Izaguirre told the Herald and Times Sport.
“Technically he’s good one-on-one. The game against Rangers is very physical and he’s maybe not the strongest player. And they have signed a good player in Diego.
“He played for Milan and Uruguay, he’s a team player with a different style. In South America Uruguay play a bit like teams in Scotland, they like strong players. It’s difficult to compare the two.
“Greg Taylor has already come up against players like Kent but I think Diego might play because it’s a big game and he’s used to them.
“He has played in World Cups, big games in South America and Italy. I think, for me, it will be Diego.”
Laxalt has made over 200 competitive senior club appearances throughout his career including 35 for Milan and 117 for Genoa, as well as 24 caps for the Uruguay national team.
Taylor, meanwhile, has made 131 appearances for Kilmarnock and 28 for Celtic, as well as winning four caps for Scotland.
With Laxalt joining the Bhoys on transfer deadline day, Lennon will be mulling over whether to deploy the Uruguayan at left-back against Rangers or stick with Taylor, who is obviously more experienced in the Scottish game.
That said, the Uruguayan is older and has more experience overall, and given he has played in fiery games before, he won’t be unsettled by one against the Gers – particularly with no crowd.