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Assessing Shane Duffy’s options as Brighton exit looms

shane duffy

The Irishman’s time at Brighton looks as though it will come to an end this summer.

Shane Duffy has been with Brighton & Hove Albion since 2016 and helped them to promotion to the Premier League.

Duffy also formed a strong partnership with Lewis Dunk, helping Brighton survive in the top flight.

shane duffy

Last season though Duffy fell out of favour with new manager Graham Potter. After Chris Hughton’s exit Duffy started just 12 league games for the Seagulls.

With Joel Veltman arriving from Ajax and Ben White returning from Leeds, Duffy will reportedly be allowed to leave Brighton.

But where should the 28-year-old go?

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West Brom

The Baggies are reportedly leading the chase for Duffy and a move to the Hawthorns would certainly suit the big defender.

West Brom will require top flight experience if they’re to beat the drop and Duffy definitely ticks that box. Slaven Bilic’s first choice centre-half options last season were Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley and Ahmed Hegazy.

Ajayi has never played at the top level while Bartley featured just 20 in six seasons at Swansea. Duffy would bring added solidity.

It’s also likely that West Brom will find themselves under the cosh for the majority of their games. At Brighton, Duffy showed that in this situation, his no-nonsense style of defending thrives.

Duffy may not be as well equipped with the ball at his feet as Bartley or Ayaji, but his aerial presence adds to any defensive unit.

It’s a move that makes sense.

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West Ham

The Hammers have also been linked with Duffy. However, it looks like they’ll have to sell before they can buy. This means he could be out of reach.

Despite this, Duffy would still fit into David Moyes’ side.

West Ham are in need of defensive reinforcements given how they struggled last season, conceding 62 goals and keeping just seven clean sheets.

Like at West Brom, Duffy would add a no-nonsense presence to the back-line at the Hammers.

The style of play at West Ham may also see him with the ball at his feet less than perhaps other sides. West Ham made the sixth most long passes in the Premier League last season.

As Irish fans know Duffy also brings a significant presence going forward, and the defender could thrive with the deliveries from the likes of Snodgrass, Bowen and Noble.

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Celtic

The less likely of the three options, however Celtic’s struggles against Kilmarnock may have exposed flaws in their defence that need fixing.

Shane Duffy is a Celtic fan and has previously expressed a desire to one day play for the Hoops, but there have been no real links to him and the club so far this summer.

shane duffy

The 28-year-old would be a coup and would likely thrive against, with all due respect to the Scottish Premiership, a lower standard of striker than he’s used to.

Duffy could cost around £10m which is expensive for the Scottish champions. He may also struggle in a team that will dominate possession and play high up the pitch.

Celtic fans would enjoy it but it looks unlikely.

shane duffy

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The verdict

Of the apparent options available to him, the challenge of West Brom would suit Shane Duffy the best. He would assumedly be a guaranteed starter there and could thrive under former defender Slaven Bilic.

West Ham would be a strong move, but the Baggies makes the most sense.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here oisin@punditarena.com