Football/Soccer

Shane Duffy's Celtic career over as Derry defender returns to Seagulls

Shane Duffy got off to a good start with Celtic but form deserted him over a difficult season
Andy Watters

SHANE DUFFY’S unhappy one-season loan stay at Celtic came to an end yesterday.

It is understood that the Derry native has been told to return to ‘parent club’ Brighton and Hove Albion after an injury ruled him out of the final two Premiership games against St Johnstone and Hibernian.

The experienced Republic of Ireland centre-half cost a £2million loan fee and wages of £30,000-plus a week (totalling around £3m) and was expected to be a success in Scotland but he was unable to find form during a miserable time at Parkhead.

A boyhood Celtic fan, the 29-year-old was enticed north of the border from the Premier League by Neil Lennon last September on a season-long loan having lost his starting spot at the Seagulls following Ben White’s return from two seasons on loan at Leeds United.

The early signs were promising and Duffy scored in his first two games for the 10 in-a-row chasing then league champions and he shored up a defence that delivered five clean sheets from seven straight victories.

But his time with the Bhoys began to turn sour after he came in for criticism following a 2-0 home defeat to Rangers in October. Duffy’s form continued to dip as results went from bad to worse in the Scottish Premier League and in Europe with the low point arguably the humiliating 4-1 loss to Sparta Prague at Parkhead in the Europa League.

It is understood that former Everton and Blackburn Rovers star Duffy has two years left on his contract at Brighton but he is not expected to be in manager Graham Potter’s plans at the Seagulls and could be on the look-out for a new club.

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Football/Soccer