Diego Sebastián Laxalt Suárez (Spanish pronunciation: [lakˈsalt]; born 7 February 1993) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a left back for Scottish Premiership club Celtic, on loan from Milan, and the Uruguay national team. He is a youth product of Defensor Sporting, having passed through the youth ranks in July 2012. His favoured shirt number is 93, representing the year that he was born.
|Full name||Diego Sebastián Laxalt Suárez|
|Date of birth||7 February 1993|
|Place of birth||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Position(s)||Left-back, left winger|
(on loan from Milan)
|2013–2014||→ Bologna (loan)||15||(2)|
|2014–2015||→ Empoli (loan)||4||(0)|
|2015–2016||→ Genoa (loan)||43||(3)|
|2019–2020||→ Torino (loan)||16||(0)|
|2020–||→ Celtic (loan)||17||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:35, 22 March 2021 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 November 2019
Born in Montevideo, Laxalt made his professional debut on 1 September 2012 with Defensor Sporting in a 4–0 win against Montevideo Wanderers. On 24 February 2013, after the excellent performance in the South American Championship football Under-20 in 2013, he returned to the field with the jersey of Violeta in the away game against Nacional. Laxalt's goal helped Defensor win 1–0. He concluded his first season with 15 appearances and 1 goal.
Inter Milan bought Laxalt in January 2013, with the deal completed in July 2013. The then new coach of Inter Milan, Walter Mazzarri, however, did not include him in the pre-season squad. He spent the season on loan at Bologna.
After returning from loan, he was included in the pre-season squad by Walter Mazzarri. On 13 August 2014, Empoli announced the loan signing of Laxalt with Inter Milan entitled to the right of a counter-purchase.
On 30 January 2015, Genoa signed Laxalt on loan for 18 months with an optional purchase clause. He scored his first 2 goals for Genoa on 28 October 2015, in an away match against Torino, the second one being a 94th-minute equalizer to earn Genoa a 3–3 draw.
On 30 July 2016, Laxalt joined Genoa on a permanent deal, with Cristian Ansaldi moving in the opposite direction.
On 16 August 2018, Laxalt joined fellow Serie A club Milan in a deal worth a reported €14 million plus a further €4 million in potential bonuses. He made his competitive debut for the club on 25 August 2018, coming on as a 71st minute substitute for Fabio Borini in a 3-2 league defeat to Napoli.
2019–20 season: Loan to Torino and recall
With both Theo Hernandez and Ricardo Rodríguez in front of him at left back, Laxalt was deemed surplus to and on 31 August 2019, transferred to Torino, on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy. On 31 January 2020, Laxalt was recalled from his loan to be the back up for Hernandez after Rodríguez had left to join Eredivisie side PSV on loan. During the course of his loan, Laxalt made only 5 starts in all competitions for Torino but came off the bench 13 times including against parent-club Milan in the Coppa Italia a week before his return.
2020–21 season: Loan to Celtic
On 5 October 2020, Laxalt completed a season-long loan to Scottish club Celtic. He made his debut at Celtic Park against Rangers in the Old Firm Derby, and his next game was against his parent club, Milan in the Europa League . He scored his first goal for Celtic when scoring a late equaliser in a 2–2 draw against Hibernian on 21 November 2020. Laxalt won the first major honour of his career when he played for Celtic in their penalty shoot-out victory against Hearts in the rescheduled 2020 Scottish Cup Final. The match was originally scheduled to take place at Hampden Park on 9 May 2020, but was postponed prior to the semi-finals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland.
2013 South American Youth Championship
He made his debut with Uruguay in the 2013 South American Youth Championship in Argentina, on 10 January 2013 in the 3–3 draw against Peru. Two days later, he scored his first goal in the 6th minute in an eventual 3–2 win over Brazil. On 18 January, his team finished 2nd in Group B, behind Peru.
2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup
After contributing to qualification for the 2013 FIFA U–20 World Cup, he was included in the squad for the event. He made his debut on 2 June 2013, in the 1–0 defeat against Croatia, where he played the full 90 minutes. The first victory in the group stage came in the next game, as Uruguay beat New Zealand 2–0. Laxalt was substituted in the 82nd minute for Gonzalo Bueno.
Uruguay also won the last game of the group stage against Uzbekistan, 4–0, the game that allowed Uruguay to qualify for the next round in 2nd place with 6 points, only behind Croatia. In the second round, Uruguay defeated Nigeria, with a 2-1 result, where he was substituted for Gonzalo Bueno in the 77th minute. On 6 July, at the quarter-final against Spain, the game went to extra time, which Uruguay won 1–0, Felipe Avenatti scoring the only goal of the game. Laxalt played all 120 minutes. Uruguay drew Iraq for the semi-finals of the competition.
Laxalt was called up to Uruguay's Copa America Centenario squad to replace the injured Cristian Rodríguez. He made his full debut against Ireland on 4 June 2017. He was called up to the full Uruguay squad for the China Cup in March 2018.
Style of play
Laxalt is left-footed, physically strong and very versatile. He has described himself by saying that: "My strengths are speed and endurance. I'm a left-footed midfielder who can fit in other positions." He has compared himself to the Inter Milan legend, Álvaro Recoba, who is also a former Uruguayan midfielder.
|Defensor Sporting||2012–13||Primera División||15||1||0||0||0||0||–||15||1|
|Inter Milan||2013–14||Serie A||0||0||0||0||0||0||–||0||0|
|Bologna (loan)||2013–14||Serie A||15||2||0||0||–||–||15||2|
|Empoli (loan)||2014–15||Serie A||4||0||3||1||–||–||7||1|
|Torino (loan)||2019–20||Serie A||16||0||2||0||0||0||–||18||0|
|Celtic (loan)||2020–21||Scottish Premiership||17||1||3||0||6||0||0||0||26||1|
- Includes two appearances in the latter stages of the 2019–20 Scottish Cup that were played in October and December 2020.
- "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: List of players: Uruguay" (PDF). FIFA. 10 June 2018. p. 32. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "2018 FIFA World Cup: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. 18 June 2018. p. 32.
- "Inter Milan: Laxalt will finally join. Juventus: Matri toward Napoli". Calcio Mercato. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
- "Diego Laxalt joins Bologna". inter.it. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
- "Official: Diego Laxalt Sent On Loan to Empoli from Inter". Italian Football Daily. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Genoa confirm Laxalt loan". Football Italia. London: Tiro Media. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Ufficiali: Ariaudo, Laxalt, Pavoletti" (Press release). Genoa C.F.C. 30 January 2015. Archived from the original on 31 January 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Ansaldi joins Inter as Laxalt moves to Genoa" (Press release). F.C. Internazionale Milano. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- "Milan reach agreement with Genoa for Diego Laxalt". Calcio Mercato. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- "Napoli vs. Milan – 25 August 2018 – Soccerway". int.soccerway.com. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- "Laxalt al Toro" [Laxalt to Toro] (in Italian). Torino Football Club. 31 August 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
- "AC Milan Recall Diego Laxalt From His Loan At Torino". SB Nation. 1 February 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
- "Hibernian 2-2 Celtic". BBC. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
- "Celtic completed a historic quadruple treble with a dramatic penalty shootout win over Hearts to lift the Scottish Cup for a 40th time". BBC. 20 December 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
- "2019-20 William Hill Scottish Cup Dates Confirmed | Scottish Cup | News". Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- SFA update fans on Scottish Cup and Nations League play-offs after Uefa call Archived 29 March 2020 at the Wayback Machine, The Courier, 16 March 2020
- "Laxalt for Rodriguez in Uruguay's Copa squad". goal.com. 30 May 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- Marco Conterio (16 January 2013). "ESCLUSIVA TMW - Roma, occhi su Laxalt: è il 'nuovo Gargano' del Sub-20". TuttoMarcatoWeb. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Inter, Laxalt si presenta: "Sono il nuovo Recoba"". Corriere dello Sport. 6 February 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Diego Laxalt » Club matches". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
- "D. Laxalt". Soccerway. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
- Diego Laxalt at National-Football-Teams.com
- Celtic win fourth straight Scottish Cup as Hazard's shootout saves break Hearts, Ewan Murray, The Guardian, 20 December 2020