SHANE DUFFY watched on from the sidelines as Celtic were again beaten 4-1 by Sparta Prague in the Europa League and the 28-year-old defender must have surely felt some degree of redemption alongside the bitter disappointment of his team losing.
The Ireland captain has been the subject of some criticism for Celtic’s defensive woes but last night proved he wasn’t solely responsible for the unmitigated disaster that is the Celtic backline. However, VideoCelts are claiming that the Scottish Champions have decided to exercise an option in Duffy’s loan agreement to send him back to Brighton.
Duffy signed to much fanfare as supporters saw the leaky gap in the defence being addressed. Although, he has been exposed often by lack of cover from the right back or central midfielders meaning he has earned a fair degree of flak. This clearly impacted his confidence and shaky performances followed, culminating in Nir Bitton being preferred to him in defence.
All of Duffy’s wages are paid by Celtic and he appears to be a key member of the first team dressing room at the club so getting rid of him could raise some eyebrows. When Diego Laxalt scored the equaliser against Hibs, it showed how much it meant to him as he celebrated. The player is a Celtic supporter and he will want to rectify this once in a lifetime opportunity to play for his boyhood club.
It would be unlikely for Celtic to commit to letting a player go without having a replacement lined up – especially given the fee that they paid to entice Brighton to let Duffy sign this year. So, we will wait to see if it comes into fruition.
For what it is worth, I still feel that Duffy could be a success at Celtic if he is afforded the proper protection – he is not a ball playing defender but instead a battling shot stopper, who scraps for everything, something that Celtic missed against a rough Prague team.