The descent of Shane Duffy’s Celtic career was completed last night at Pittodrie.
With Kris Ajer suffering from a shoulder knock John Kennedy called in Nir Bitton to partner Stephen Welsh in central defence. Onto the bench for the very first time came Dane Murray, a 17-year-old midfielder that can also play in central defence.
Duffy signed to a fanfare in September on the back of the Champions League defeat from Ferencvaros, a show of intent to win a 10th SPFL title.
Bringing in a defensive warrior seemed exactly what was needed but it quickly became evident that playing for Celtic and fighting relegation with Brighton were completely different tasks.
Playing 20 yards further up the pitch left plenty of space behind Duffy, with Diego Laxalt and Jeremie Frimpong flying forward at every opportunity the Celtic defence was wide open with the loan bhoy badly exposed.
Before the turn of the year it was obvious that the move wasn’t working out for anyone but a knee injury to Chris Jullien meant that Duffy stayed on at Celtic rather than return to Brighton.
Since the end of January the Duffy has played in two matches, replacing Welsh when he was injured against St Mirren and in the following game away to St Johnstone. When Welsh recovered he went straight back into the side. His club problems have cost the 29-year-old his international place.
This season has been one of constant mistakes at Celtic with Duffy caught up in the centre, as he prepares for his Brighton return he at least has a Scottish Cup winners medal as consolation for a loan move that went badly wrong.