Ireland defender Shane Duffy has officially ended his time at Celtic, according to the Scottish Sun.
It looked for all the world that it was a perfect signing in the 20-21 pre-season. The Ireland captain joining a defence of Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien seemed like the perfect decision. A robust, no-nonsense defender, Duffy wasn’t fancied by Brighton boss Graham Potter. That meant he was available, and it took Duffy little convincing from Neil Lennon.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. According to the Sun, Duffy cost Celtic £2million to bag on loan from Brighton. However, as well as that, they had to pay wages of around £30,000-plus per week. The outlet claims this has led to a total of £3m being splashed out on him.
The report claims an injury has ruled him out of the final two games against St Johnstone and Hibernian respectively.
Despite dominating in the air, and starting well, it was a bit of a nightmare for Shane Duffy. In Europe, particularly, his lack of pace and concentration were sorely exploited. In big games, including meetings with Rangers, his inability to read aerial passes caused all sorts of problems.
On paper, it looked perfect, but Shane Duffy was an expensive mistake, even for a loan
Following family tragedy, Duffy was playing to fulfil a father’s dream.
That’s why this is a particularly sad story. Even though he scored in his first match, and looked for all the world like an ideal fit, it came apart quickly at Celtic.
His confidence seemed absolutely shot, particularly after the first Glasgow Derby of the season. Struggling alongside Vasilis Barkas at the back, Duffy was part of a doomed transfer window which saw Nick Hammond quit in March.
Now, with injuries cutting his time short, Duffy can at least say he won a Scottish Cup with Celtic. In the delayed Cup Final against Hearts, Duffy was on the winning side as the Bhoys finished off an unprecedented quadruple treble.
Sure, for a £3m loan, there was little value for money from Celtic’s perspective. Perhaps in another season, with fans backing him, it could’ve all been so different. And it’s not like he’ll disappear into ignominy, with Derby reportedly after him.
At least he can say he was part of a historic Celtic achievement. No matter the price, or his performances, nobody can take that from him.