Celtic pundit Paul John Dykes has recently talked about one reason for Shane Duffy’s recent improvements.
Dykes was recently hosting the latest episode of the ‘A Celtic State of Mind’ podcast and the panel discussed multiple issues involving the Bhoys. One topic of discussion was Shane Duffy. Dykes feels that the Irish central defender has shown signs of improvements in recent games and Kristoffer Ajer’s position has been a key reason for that.
Has Ajer's change in position helped Duffy improve?
Duffy had arrived at Parkhead on loan from Brighton in the summer transfer window. He is a boyhood Celtic fan. While he did score in his first two Premiership games for the Hoops, Duffy later received criticism for his performance against Aberdeen. He has picked up poor ratings against the likes of Rangers, Milan, Lille and Sparta Prague (as per WhoScored).
Dykes believes that Ajer’s change in position has been important for Duffy’s better performances over the last couple of games.
He said: “Now, this is a big thing with Ajer because again, we spoke to Alan Morrison who does the stats at Celtic By Numbers and he was very complimentary about Ajer’s defensive abilities, but a lot of Celtic fans I speak to don’t rate him as a defender. I think since he’s gone into the right-back position, not only has he flourished going forward, particularly, but it has given an opportunity to Duffy. It has almost salvaged a player who a lot of us were writing off.”
TIF Thoughts on Dykes’ comments regarding Duffy…
Duffy impressed in Celtic’s Premiership game against Kilmarnock recently and he put in a decent performance in the club’s Europa League win over Lille too (as per WhoScored). Ajer had played as a right-sided centre-back against Kilmarnock, while he had played at right-back against Lille.
This shows that Duffy’s improvement has come about when Ajer has played closer to the right side of the pitch and while it might be too early to make any judgements, perhaps Neil Lennon should use this system more often if it brings the best out of the Irishman.