Diego Laxalt must “prove his worth” to Celtic while Greg Taylor is sidelined with what Neil Lennon described as a “strange” injury.
That is according to former Rangers favourite Alan Hutton, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the Taylor was subbed off just eight minutes into Celtic’s 1-0 defeat to Ross County on Sunday.
Lennon, who announced his resignation on Wednesday, replaced him with on-loan left-back Laxalt and later expanded on Taylor’s injury to the press.
He told the Scottish Sun: “He felt his thigh in the first action of the game when he has passed it back to Kris Ajer. He was able to run on with it, but obviously he has pulled up very quickly after that. Again, it is a strange one.”
Laxalt hasn’t started for Celtic since 16 January but, with no word on the extent of Taylor’s injury forthcoming, the Uruguayan may be required over the coming weeks.
And Hutton claims that the 28-year-old should treat the situation as an opportunity to prove himself.
He told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “He’s a tenacious player, he gets in and about it, he’s aggressive. He has had a bit of an up and down season but so has most of the team.
“When they did need him, he went through a run of games where he was producing, he was getting forward, he was defending well.
“It’s a blow for them [Taylor’s injury]. No one wants to see players picking up injuries. Especially in the backline, where they’ve already got injuries. It’s not ideal for them, with Frimpong leaving as well. It’s the last position they would want to pick up an injury.
“But, look, it’s an opportunity for Laxalt to come in and stake his claim again, he’s been pushed out of the team and he’s only on loan so it’s up to him to show his worth, it’s time to prove it.”
Laxalt, a 24-time Uruguay international, joined Celtic on loan from AC Milan in October.
The loss to Ross County leaves Celtic 18 points behind Rangers in the league, giving their rivals the chance to clinch the title at Celtic Park on 21 March.