Celtic were dealt a huge deadline day heartbreak as major January target Ben Davies signed for Liverpool on a £1.5million long-term deal. The Hoops had been in advanced talks with the former Preston North End centre-back and he had reportedly agreed personal terms with the Premiership outfit.
Naturally, when the reigning Premier League champions come calling, you answer that call. But that doesn’t take away from the disappointment Celtic must be feeling right now. However, this outcome will be good news for Brighton loanee Shane Duffy, whose loan deal with the Bhoys was at risk of being cut short.
Neil Lennon’s squad has been hampered with injuries this season and one man who has missed plenty of action is Christopher Jullien. According to Transfermarkt, the Frenchman has missed a whopping 29 matches through injury so far this term, plus a further three due to self-isolation.
Partly due to Duffy’s inconsistent performances, the Celtic defence has been unnaturally soft. Their usual water-tight backline has been subject to a lot of leaks and Davies could have helped patch this up.
Ahead of his first appearance for Liverpool, the £5,500 per week defender has received praise in abundance. He was described as a “Rolls Royce” of a player by Peter Risdale, who is now an advisor to the owner of Preston. His stats for the season back this up – in comparison to Duffy, he has averaged more tackles, interceptions and clearances per 90 minutes this season, according to WhoScored.
Davies is also four years younger than the Brighton loanee and could have delivered a fresher outlook to Lennon’s squad. Missing out on signing the centre-back will be a huge blow to the Bhoys, who will be looking to limit damage caused by a lacklustre 2020/21 season.
However, for Duffy, talks of his loan deal coming to an early end have evidently not come to fruition and he will see out his full spell at Celtic Park. It’s fair to say that he has been a disappointment for the Hoops, now he could be given a chance to put things right and prove why Lennon was so keen to sign him in the first place.
In other news, Celtic suffer deadline day blow over Japhet Tanganga…