NEIL LENNON admitted new Bhoy Diego Laxalt was the one who got away a year ago.

AC Milan’s Uruguayan left-back agreed a season-long loan deal with the nine-in-a-row champions before the transfer deadline, as CQN reported last night.

And the Hoops gaffer knows it’s better late than never for the 27-year-old defender who has won 24 caps for his country.

Lennon, speaking to the club website, said: “I admire him very much. I watched him in the World Cup and thought he had an outstanding competition. He was playing in a very good Uruguayan team with some outstanding players and he looked very comfortable in that company.

“We’ve been tracking him for a very long time – we tried to get him in this time last year, but we couldn’t do it. To get that deal over the line is fantastic business from the board and the club.

“The player looks really happy to be here, having spoken to him last night. He’ll bring a lot of quality and inspiration to the team.

“As far as I’m aware, he’ll be available in the Europa League group stages and he’ll be available for the Rangers game, as well.

“He’s been training, he’s not played much with Milan so far, but he’s fit and he’s available for the next games.”

Lennon had been seeking reinforcements for the left-back position with only Greg Taylor available and he added: “He’s a great defender. He’s got great quality on the ball, he’s very tenacious, very fit, and again, he’s got a great desire to make things happen.

“I like his tenacity more than anything else, he refuses to get beaten or give the ball away and I just think he’s a quality player who’s playing at a high level.”

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