Opinion: Keep the Duff – why Celtic should retain the Irish defender

SHANE DUFFY is reportedly being considered for a Celtic exit in January according to a report by VideoCelts. The fan outlet has said that the 28-year-old will head back to Premier League side Brighton in January after a disappointing three months in Glasgow.

Despite starting strongly, Duffy appeared to be struggling to adapt to the Scottish game and in particular Celtic’s possession. Having spent three years with Brighton, the Irish captain was used to having very little of the ball – which is the polar opposite of life in domestic football for the Scottish Champions.

However, he has been a scapegoat for performances that ultimately he was one of many under performers. To cut him loose in January would be both harsh, considering the up-front loan fee paid to Brighton. Duffy – like a lot of the current team – don’t look like they are being coached to any particular style. He has looked a little lost in defence, beside a maundering Jeremie Frimpong and two unimposing goalkeepers.

Duffy is a Celtic supporter and that alone is not enough to warrant a stay at the club in any footballing position. However, he is a Premier League defender and has shown his talents before coming to Celtic and I am sure that even after he leaves the club, he will continue to impress. There is a strong argument that he is a square peg for a round hole but he is still a natural central defender – which is more than can be said for Nir Bitton or Hatem Abd Elhamed.

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Since a blip in form, Duffy should have been taken out of the firing line and allowed to get back to his best. However, injuries and probably poor management meant that he was kept in the team and exposed. It can be a lonely place on social media, which 2020 has amplified and the defender has taken some amount of stick. He is not the architect of Celtic’s defensive woes, instead he might actually be the person that can help turn it around. A strong head and leadership – the two traits that fans were excited about can still help make a success this season.

A few decisions need to be made in the next few weeks for Celtic, decisions that will have huge effects on our season. If Neil Lennon is still the manager and he doesn’t want to play Duffy and pay the wages then he will likely leave but if a new manager comes in, who might see Duffy as an asset to build a solid defensive unit behind then that is something to consider.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He plans to be at every game until we get to the Ten ourselves. He's in his Honours Year studying Law and plans to specialise in Sports Law when he graduates. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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