Brighton defender Shane Duffy could be moving nearer to an exit from the club, with transfer reports suggesting that he is in talks with a newly-promoted Premier League side.
The Daily Mail reported that West Brom have held talks with the Seagulls over a potential move for the 33-cap Republic of Ireland international as Slaven Bilic seeks to add an experienced top-flight centre-back to his Baggies squad.
Duffy, who joined Brighton four years ago, was a regular at the Amex Stadium under Chris Hughton, starting more than 30 league games in each of his three seasons under the ex-Seagulls manager. However, since Graham Potter’s appointment in May 2019, the 1.93m-tall Irishman has found game-time much harder to come by, making just 12 Premier League starts last term and 19 appearances altogether in the division.
Duffy has lost his regular starting berth to Adam Webster, an expensive acquisition from Bristol City, while competition for centre-back places at Brighton for next season has been intensified by the signing of Joel Veltman from Ajax and the loan return of Ben White from a spell at Leeds which went so well that the Yorkshire club have submitted a £22m bid for him, which was rejected by the Seagulls (as per Sky Sports).
Unsurprisingly given his height, the Irish centre-back is a dominant aerial presence – only Dan Burn at Brighton won more than his 3.7 headers per game last season – while his match average of 3.7 clearances is the highest of any Seagulls player. However, Duffy lags behind his central defensive team-mates in terms of tackles (0.9) and interceptions (1.1) per game, as well as having an inferior success passing success rate – his 80.7%, for instance, is well short of Lewis Dunk’s 87%. [via WhoScored]
With 96 Premier League appearances, Duffy is an experienced top-flight campaigner with a strong aerial record, so Brighton should think very carefully before deciding that he is dispensable.
Unfortunately for the Irishman, having already found it hard to get into Potter’s plans last season, the added competition from Veltman and White could see him slump to the periphery of the squad if he remains at the Amex.
Can Brighton afford to sell Shane Duffy?
Therefore, it would come as no great surprise if West Brom were able to prise him to the Midlands in the current transfer window.
Brighton fans, do you think that Duffy will be sold before the start of the new season? Comment below with your views!
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