Brighton confirmed the departure of Shane Duffy on loan to Celtic earlier this week and they could be set for a battle to try and prevent him from leaving for good.
The Daily Record reported that members of the Glasgow club’s hierarchy are convinced that the 28-year-old will be a huge success at Parkhead and will seek to sign him on a permanent deal next summer.
The Irish centre-back, on whom the Seagulls placed a £10m asking price amid widespread transfer interest, will have his weekly wages of £45,000 paid evenly by his parent and loan clubs while he is with the Hoops, who paid £2m as part of the deal to take him on loan (as per Daily Record).
Duffy had been a consistent presence in Brighton’s first XI under Chris Hughton, starting more than 30 league games in three successive seasons under the ex-Seagulls manager. However, the centre-back struggled for regular game-time under Graham Potter, making just 12 Premier League starts last season as the current boss frequently turned to Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster as his partnership at the heart of defence.
The Republic of Ireland international was set to face even stronger competition for a place in the Brighton team for 2020/21 with Ben White returning from his loan spell at Leeds and signing a new contract at the club, as well as former Ajax defender Joel Veltman being purchased for a cut-price fee.
While Duffy may not have played regularly last season, he still made a valuable contribution to Albion when he did feature – his match average of 3.7 successful aerial duels was bettered only by Dan Burn with 4.1 among Potter’s squad, while nobody else at the Amex made more clearances per game than the Irishman’s 3.7 (as per WhoScored).
Duffy’s loan move to Celtic will give him a shot at European football, something in which he only briefly dabbled with Everton more than a decade ago, as well as a chance to make his mark with a team likely to be contending for the Premiership title, which the Hoops are seeking for a 10th successive year.
Do you fear that Duffy will end up joining Celtic permanently?
However, the reverse of this double-edged sword is that, if the 28-year-old thrives in Glasgow, he may well wish to move there permanently rather than trying to prove himself all over against Brighton.
Brighton fans, what do you make of Duffy’s loan move to Celtic? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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