Pundit Chris Iwelumo is delighted for former teammate Shane Duffy after he scored on his debut for Celtic yesterday, speaking on BBC Sportscene this weekend.
Duffy spent an early career loan at Burnley where Iwelumo was a first-team striker and the former Scotland attacker believes that the Ireland captain has all the hallmarks of a great Celtic signing.
He told BBC Sportscene on Saturday night: “He has character, he has a presence about him.
“This is what Celtic have needed – a no-nonsense defender that’s going to bring goals to the team as well.
“He can play and the physical presence – he’s so athletic and powerful. With the service he’s going to get, he is going to score goals.
“He’s living his dream, I’m absolutely delighted for him.”
Perhaps the most encouraging thing about Duffy’s debut is that he’s almost certain to get better from here.
His fitness is still very much work in progress, having not featured for Brighton much throughout 2020.
That, coupled with a misalignment of the Scottish pre-season and English top-flight finishing, means that Duffy is still playing catch-up with his teammates.
Lennon has done the right thing throwing him in at the deep end early.
He’s only going to gain fitness and understanding with his teammates in time for difficult qualifiers and an upcoming derby if he spends time on the pitch.
It’s early days of course and there were few shaky moments for Celtic defensively yesterday. Realistically Ross County are always a team we will expect to beat quite comfortably.
More difficult challenges are ahead but the signs are there that Duffy is a brilliant addition to the team and dressing room in a season where characters will be needed to secure historic achievements.