There is no question that Celtic’s move for Shane Duffy in the summer looked to be a huge coup for the Hoops in their bid to retain their Scottish Premiership crown.
Duffy is an experienced Premier League defender. And there appeared to be a host of English sides who also wanted the centre-back. The Express and Star suggested that West Ham, West Brom and Burnley all had their eye on the Republic of Ireland international.
But it was Celtic who won the race. The Daily Record claimed that the Hammers and Baggies were willing to pay £10 million for the 28-year-old.
But he wanted to move to Parkhead. And Celtic reportedly managed to complete a £2 million loan deal that sees the Hoops cover half of his £45,000-a-week wages.
Unsurprisingly therefore, it appeared that the Bhoys were wasting little time in making plans that may result in Duffy staying beyond his loan spell.
The Record also claimed that the Celtic hierarchy were already preparing to try and keep Duffy permanently. In fact, it was suggested that the Hoops board were convinced that he would be a huge hit at Parkhead.
In fairness to Duffy, there is a long way to go this season. But based on the defender’s last few performances, it is surely fair to say that Celtic may need to be prepared to rethink their plans.
Early warning signs for Celtic
Unfortunately, Duffy is yet to prove to be an inspired signing for the champions. And there have been a couple of costly errors in the last few games. The most recent came when he messed up a clearance before Aberdeen scored on Sunday.
He cannot take all of the blame for Celtic’s defensive problems right now, of course. But it is alarming that Lennon’s side have conceded seven more goals than Rangers – despite having a game in hand over the league leaders.
Duffy has time to bounce back and prove a brilliant signing. And ultimately, this current run of form may be discounted when the Celtic board consider whether to try and sign him permanently.
But there is no question that signing Duffy has, so far, not been the huge coup many expected it to be.