Brighton supporters were left flocking to social media last night as they sent out a plea for Shane Duffy’s return to England.
Duffy signed a season-long loan deal at Parkhead over the summer as the big Irishman joined his boyhood heroes. Already, he’s made a positive impact as part of a back three – keeping three clean sheets in five games including two in Europe.
Meanwhile, Graham Potter’s Brighton were struggling to deal with cross balls all day against Everton yesterday. In a 4-2 loss at Goodison, the Toffee’s first two goals came directly from basic crosses, whilst the latter two saw chips to the back-post being buried by James Rodriguez.
And it appears many Brighton fans have seen enough after conceding 10 goals in their last three games. Here’s a look at some of the reaction on Twitter as many called for Duffy’s return:
Where is the big man @shaneduffy when you need him I’m sure he would get his nut on some of these crosses that we keep conceding goals from.
— 🏴⚽️Martin Burns⚽️🏴 (@BurnsyF1) October 3, 2020
— Lee Manvell (@LeeManvell) October 3, 2020
I feel we need Shane Duffy back @BHAFC . Comical defending and no one knows who is marking who.
— Simon Ashdown (@SimonAshdown2) October 3, 2020
Wonder if Shane Duffy has a recall clause in his loan? #bhafc
— The Tweeting Seagull (@TweetingSeagull) October 3, 2020
Anyone know Shane Duffy's number? I'll buy him the plane ticket. #bhafc
— Chris Ward (@yorker129_7) October 3, 2020
No Shane Duffy 🤷♂️
— Seagull Travel BHAFC 🚌 (@SeagullTravNews) October 3, 2020
Brighton conceding yet again from a set play. Becoming a very big issue – desperately miss Duffy’s aerial ability. can’t keep giving teams one or two goals per game #Bhafc
— Seagull Line (@ILA27511) October 3, 2020
Shane Duffy would sort out a lot of these set piece issues but apparently that is no longer a basic
— Lem (@lemo216) October 3, 2020
Come back Shane Duffy
— Steve Good (@SteveGood5) October 3, 2020
Duffy’s influence already being felt
It’s hardly been the perfect start to life in Scotland for Duffy, but getting used to a totally different style of defending will never be a simple task.
Indeed, the Irishman now finds himself playing in an extremely high line as Celtic often force their domestic opponents onto the back-foot with a high press. It’s changed days from his time sitting deep with Brighton and trying to keep better sides out.
Whilst that will still be a requirement when we compete in a tough-looking Europa League group, Duffy has had to adapt and has done so fairly well.
But for anyone questioning his performances so far, just look at the reaction from the Brighton supporters. Look at how much they’re missing his dominance in the air – a key indication of just how good he looked in the Premier League.
Of course, it may not be great for us if they miss him too much. Whilst there’s almost undoubtedly no recall clause in his contract, if they miss the Ireland captain a lot as the season goes on, we may not have much luck bringing him back. Duffy’s deal runs until the summer of 2023 (Transfermarkt). Brighton have him tied down for now.
But it’s early days in the season. Brighton will look to pick themselves up, whilst we look to Duffy to help keep us tight on the march to the 10. So far, so good from a Celtic perspective.