It’s not often that the Celtic faithful take to a loan player easily but as a boyhood Hoops fan himself, Shane Duffy has defied expectations already in Scotland.
The 28-year-old joined from Brighton at the start of September and has quickly cemented his name down as the aggressive leader in the middle of Neil Lennon’s back three.
To make it an even bigger fairytale, the Londonderry-born colossus bagged a goal on his debut during a 5-0 whitewash over Ross County. It’s no wonder he’s adored by many at Parkhead.
Duffy is averaging 6.4 aerial duels won, 4.8 clearances, one interception and 0.6 tackles per game in the Scottish Premiership this season (via WhoScored) and this form has continued onto the international stage for the Republic of Ireland.
During their most recent Nations League stalemate with Wales, Duffy heralded the defence despite going down to ten men, ensuring that the Boys in Green weren’t conceding on Sunday.
Per FotMob, the Bhoys loan star recorded five recoveries, three clearances and three blocks, and also won 80% of his aerial duels and enjoyed a passing accuracy rate of just under 90%.
It is performances like this that should have alarm bells ringing in Peter Lawwell’s ear as he’s only secured the £40k-per-week man on a season-long loan and he cannot afford to have another Fraser Forster situation on his hands come next summer.
The colossal goalkeeper, another favourite with the Hoops fanbase, was a player that Lennon desperately wanted to keep hold of after an impressive season on loan last term.
However, a permanent move for him quickly fizzled out and the club signed Vasilis Barkas instead.
Lawwell must now plan ahead and do everything in his power to sign Duffy next year, given his age and quality, you have to foresee that other teams could come knocking to Brighton.
He could well be a Virgil van Dijk-like stalwart for years to come in Glasgow.
AND in other news, Celtic suffer another cruel blow ahead of the Old Firm clash…