Why Celtic signing Shane Duffy on loan could be a massive boost
According to the Daily Record, Celtic have been credited with loan interest in Brighton centre-back Shane Duffy, who is looking for a move away from his current club after losing his status as an undisputed starter.
The report adds that Duffy is a boyhood Celtic fan and Hoops boss Neil Lennon has already held talks with the 28-year-old over a potential switch to Parkhead this summer.
As per the Daily Mail, the reigning Scottish champions are considering the possibility of a one-year loan for Duffy, but a loan fee and other terms of the deal are yet to be agreed, with the Irishman still under contract with the Seagulls until the summer of 2023.
Shane Duffy rose through the youth ranks of Everton. But he struggled to nail down a regular starting role at his boyhood club, making only 10 first-team appearances for the Toffees.
Impressive loan spells at Scunthorpe United in League One and Yeovil Town in the Championship paved the way for a permanent move to Blackburn Rovers, where he spent two seasons before joining Brighton in 2016.
The 28-year-old was a key figure in Brighton’s promotion-winning 2016-17 campaign in the Championship. Duffy eventually established himself as one of the best centre-backs outside the top-six in the Premier League over the next couple of seasons.
Having started 72 league fixtures for the Seagulls in 2017-18 and 2018-19, Duffy fell out of favour at the Amex Stadium following the appointment of Graham Potter, who largely preferred new signing Adam Webster. Duffy was limited to just 12 starts in the PL last season and that has apparently raised question marks over his future at Brighton.
Why Celtic need him
Celtic conceded only 19 goals en route to their 9th straight domestic title triumph last season, with new signings from last summer Christopher Jullien and Hatem Abd Elhamed making a big impact alongside Kristoffer Ajer.
However, the Hoops currently find themselves short of quality cover forJullien and Ajer at the heart of the defence following the departure of Jozo Simunovic. Elhamed, of course, is versatile enough to slot into one of those positions. But Neil Lennon has largely used him as a right-back over the course of his career at Parkhead.
With that in mind, Celtic completing a loan deal for Shane Duffy would hand a massive boost to their central defensive options as the Hoops bid to make it ten-in-a-row on the domestic front.
The vastly-experienced Republic of Ireland international represents a tried and tested option in the Premier League. So it’s easy to see why he would possibly be an upgrade on the club’s existing centre-backs.
Celtic crashed out of the 2019-20 Europa League against Copenhagen in the round-of-32, despite enjoying an impressive campaign in the group stages of the competition. They surely need to aim higher on the continental front. And a top-quality defender like Duffy would come in very handy for that matter.
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Celtic’s dominance in Scottish football has reigned supreme over the past decade and the acquisition of Shane Duffy on loan would set the Hoops on course for greater glory in the 2020-21 campaign. Thus they should attempt to lure him to Parkhead.