Shane Duffy made a triumphant return to the Amex Stadium on Saturday, with Brighton fans voting him their man of the match from their opening Premier League game against Burnley.
Duffy made his first Premier League start since June 2020 in the game at Turf Moor, and it was a huge performance that he put in, as Brighton got their campaign off to a winning start.
Manager Potter praises "immense" Shane Duffy
Duffy had a tough year last year on loan at Celtic, and ultimately left the Scottish giants early and returned to Brighton after picking up a season-ending injury.
But the Derry man made a massive return to the south coast on Saturday afternoon, with a performance that not only saw him take the club's man of the match award, but also brought praise from his manager and plenty of the Brighton fanbase.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 14, 2021
The win at Burnley was a hard fought one, with two goals in the last 20 minutes from Neil Maupay and Alexis McAllister sealing a comeback 2-1 win. Manager Graham Potter reserved some special words of praise for Irish defender Duffy in the aftermath of the game.
I thought he was immense. He has been fantastic since he came back. His attitude and professionalism, his approach to the team and group. He has been really good.
The news of Duffy's successful return to the Seagulls will be music to the ears of Stephen Kenny, whose Irish team take on European titans Portugal in a crucial World Cup qualifier on September 1st. The attacking talent on show for Portugal will take plenty of defensive effort to repel, so Duffy could well play a crucial role on the Algarve.
Duffy himself took to social media to praise the team's performance.
What a feeling being back out there for this team 😍 great 3 points on the road well done lads 💪🏻 https://t.co/Qy56CHezY7
— Shane Duffy (@shaneduffy) August 14, 2021
The return to form of Shane Duffy will be music to the ears of Brighton and Ireland fans alike, and bodes well for a strong season at the Amex.