Shane Duffy named as Celtic's best player in semi-final victory by Craig Levein

By John Reid

November 3, 2020

Celtic’s Shane Duffy was given plenty of praise by BBC pundit Craig Levein after the Hoops’ win over Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup, on the BBC Scottish football podcast.

Levein, a former centre-half, knows a thing or two about defenders. He was very impressed with how Duffy performed, and claimed that he was arguably Celtic’s best player in the win at Hampden.

“In the right place constantly”

“He was arguably for me the best player in the Celtic team. The amount of crosses that he stopped, he was in the right place constantly, he won just about every header that he went for, and I thought he was excellent, and that was a real, strong performance” Levein said, whilst appearing on the BBC Scottish football podcast (30m 29s; 03/11/20).

It was probably Duffy’s best performance for the Hoops so far. The player, who joined on loan from Brighton for a fee of around £2m, has not enjoyed the best start to his Celtic career.

However, the signs are there that he is starting to get to grips with life at Celtic Park. He did play quite well for the majority of the game against Lille, aside from the silly penalty he conceded.

Against Aberdeen though, he was the commanding defender which we all hoped he would be when he joined the club.

Helping Hoops to midweek clean sheet would be a boost

Duffy must look to build on his performance against Aberdeen, starting against Sparta Prague on Thursday. Helping the Hoops to a second clean sheet in a row would be a good start.

Celtic defender Shane Duffy / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Perhaps playing in a partnership with Nir Bitton has helped Duffy. Bitton always seems to display a calmness on the pitch.

That might have helped Duffy to be more calm, and less rash in his performances. He stood up to every attack Aberdeen threatened, and was arguably Celtic’s best defender on the day. Hopefully Duffy can now go from strength to strength that he has a platform to build on.

In other news, Al-Ahly’s sporting director says that Celtic haven’t made a move for Mohamed Magdy.