'He was pivotal'; Neil Lennon reveals how Paddy McCourt helped seal Shane Duffy Celtic move

By John McGinley

September 9, 2020

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has lauded former Bhoys favourite Paddy McCourt for the way he helped Shane Duffy seal his loan move from Brighton, speaking to The Celtic View this week (09/09 print edition, page 7).

McCourt and Duffy are both Celtic diehards who hail from Derry and as such, Lennon reckons there was a relatability factor there that helped the Scottish champions convince the defender his future lay in Glasgow this season.

As quoted by the club magazine, the Hoops boss said: “Pat was very good in talking to Shane about coming up, and I spoke to Pat myself a couple of times about the player.

“Pat was fantastic and probably the most naturally gifted player I’ve worked with. He had a couple of great seasons under me and coming from Derry he can relate to Shane and Shane can relate to him.

“They know the importance of the club and they know the importance of the season. Pat was pivotal in helping Shane make that decision as well, which is obviously good for us.”

Paddy McCourt in action for Celtic / (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

McCourt was a massive fan favourite during his time at the club, partly because of his Derry background, but mostly because of his unbelievable dribbling talent on the ball and crowd-pleasing wonder goals.

Duffy is a different kind of player of course but it’s pleasing to hear how much thought has went into the Celtic switch and that it was a former cult hero that helped get it over the line.

If he can perform consistently this season and help us towards ten-in-a-row, there is absolutely no doubt that Duffy will be fondly remembered forever amongst supporters.

Celtic defender Shane Duffy / (Photo By Alex Nicodim/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Securing that kind of legacy must have been a huge factor in deciding where he wants to play his football this season.

However, it also brings pressure and hopefully the Ireland captain can rise to the occasion.

We need him to shore up a shaky defence quickly and provide the foundation to win matches impressively.

In other news, Celtic are showing transfer interest in QPR winger Bright Osayi-Samuel.