Shane Duffy has received high praise after Brighton sealed their first ever Premier League away victory last night, writes Stephen Barry.
The Seagulls have conceded ten goals in nine games, and kept three clean sheets, with Duffy and Lewis Dunk at the heart of their success.
Much to Irish fans relief, Duffy overcame a groin injury to feature in the 3-0 victory at the London Stadium, and made a brave block to deny Javier Hernandez – one of three goal-bound blocks and 11 clearances he made on the night.
Sky Sports analyst Jamie Carragher lauded Duffy as “vital in the air”.
“He’s more of the commanding one in the air, a young player who came through at Everton.
“We don’t see enough of this in the Premier League now. We want a lot more from our centre-backs, that’s the way the game is going. But there’s nothing better for me in the role that I played to see defenders defend like this, and want to defend. Doing everything they can to stop that ball going into the back of the net.
“A lot of their success will be built on those two centre-backs. If they are going to stay in the league they need to keep them fit, and if they perform they are going to give Brighton a fighting chance.”
Duffy’s manager and former Ireland international Chris Hughton applauded his defensive towers: “They work hard at their positioning, they are not afraid to put their bodies (in) there.
“They probably get more blocks in than anybody else in the side.
“We’re benefiting from the amount of games they’ve played together and the relationship they have.
“Shane is aggressive in the air, that’s a little bit of a dying art.
“Between the two of them they cover a lot of the qualities you want from a centre-half.”
One viewer said Duffy and Dunk could even give Donald Trump a helping hand…
Meanwhile, Carragher wasn’t the only Liverpudlian praising Duffy.
Other supporters on Merseyside were regretting ever letting him go.