This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Brighton made Neal Maupay their record signing last summer when they spent £19.8m (as per TransferMarkt) to lure him from Brentford. Just three years previously, they broke their club record transfer fee for little more than 20% of that amount.
Shane Duffy had the distinction of being the Seagulls then-record signing in August 2016 when he joined from Blackburn in a £4m deal, as per The Mirror. He was already an established Championship player with Yeovil and Blackburn but had only made a handful of Premier League appearances in his early days at Everton.
Within nine months of moving to the Amex Stadium, the Irishman had helped Brighton into the top flight as he played 31 times in the promotion-winning campaign under Chris Hughton. He also put his 1.93m (6 ft 5) height to good use by winning 6.1 headers per game on average, proving a rock at the back in a memorably season for the Sussex club.
Duffy started all but one of Brighton’s games in their first Premier League season, with suspension accounting for the only match that he missed (as per TransferMarkt), proving his aerial prowess again with a match average of 5.4 headers won as the Seagulls retained their top-flight status.
In 2018/19, Brighton fans saw another string to the Derry native’s bow as he helped himself to no fewer than five goals, making him their second-highest league scorer after centre-forward Glenn Murray. The first of Duffy’s quintet came in a memorable 3-2 home win over Manchester United and he ended the season as the club’s Player of the Year.
Was Shane Duffy the best signing that Chris Hughton made at Brighton?
The 28-year-old has lost his regular starting berth under Graham Potter this season, though, with 2019 arrival Adam Webster often preferred alongside Lewis Dunk at centre-back. However, the Irish defender can still boast a commendable return of eight goals in 129 appearances prior to this weekend’s clash against Manchester City.
Earlier this week, Brighton added two more Irish players to their youth ranks, including a central defender in Leigh Kavanagh. If he can go on to have anywhere near as impressive a Seagulls career as Duffy, the Sussex faithful will have another Ireland defender to idolise throughout the 2020s.
Brighton fans, just how good a signing has Duffy proven to be? Comment below with your views!
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