According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, reigning Scottish champions Celtic are said to be the latest team to have entered the race for the signature of Brighton and Hove Albion’s Irish international defender Shane Duffy. The report suggests that the Hoops are set to face some strong competition for the big centre-half’s signature, with a host of clubs from the Premier League claimed to be keen on his services as well. Neil Lennon’s side will have to brush off the likes of West Ham, West Brom and Burnley in order to lure the defender to Parkhead this summer.
Although the report has clarified that Celtic are interested in Brighton defender Shane Duffy, signing him in the current transfer environment will not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. The Glasgow club are reportedly attempting to negotiate a year-long loan deal with the Seagulls, and talks with the player are said to have begun already as well. Despite being contracted at the AMEX Stadium for another couple of seasons, the 28-year-old is claimed to be keen on spending a season in the Premiership this time around.
What Is Celtic’s Current Defensive Situation?
The Parkhead club currently find themselves in an extremely fragile position at the back, with just three natural options to choose from in the centre-half role. Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer has been Neil Lennon’s first-choice defence combination, and although the pair of them haven’t necessarily done a bad job, their performances have been far from secure.
Individually, Ajer and Jullien are both top defenders, but their similar skill-sets and ideologies make the acquisition of a new defender an absolute necessity going into this season. The only back-up option currently at Lennon’s disposal is Hatem Abd Elhamed, who has been used as a substitute in the full-back role as well.
What Makes Shane Duffy An Attractive Option For Celtic?
The giant Irishman has been around the Premier League scene for a while now, and up until the end of the 18/19 season, he was one of the first-choice centre-halves at the AMEX Stadium. Having joined the Seagulls from Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2016, Duffy went on to make quite the reputation for himself in the heart of the defence. The defender stands at over 1.9m tall and is among the most intimidating figures in all of the Premier League at this point.
Last season though, the centre-half’s place in the side was taken from him by the younger and more dynamic Adam Webster, with Dan Burn being preferred ahead of the Irishman when the Seagulls opted to start with a back-three. Despite having not been a regular last season, there’s no denying the defender’s obvious quality operating in the role. Duffy, upon a potential arrival at Celtic, would immediately become the most dominant header of the ball in the entire Hoops roster. Not only does the Irishman offer strong positioning and defensive awareness, but he contributes with key goals at vital times in the attacking phase as well.
Celtic Are Interested In Brighton Defender Shane Duffy: Should Lennon Bring Him In?
The Irishman has the quality required to perform at the highest level, while there’s no need even to begin questioning the experience that he would add to this Celtic team. Almost unbeatable in the air and a strong tackler as well, Duffy would be the simplest answer to all of the Celts’ ongoing defensive concerns. Although the hype surrounding Ajer and Jullien is real, their displays so far certainly wouldn’t have filled the gaffer with too much confidence, and that’s why acquiring Duffy in the coming weeks will be a no-brainer of a move by the Glasgow club.