By Alex McLeish

17th Sep, 2020 | 7:00am

'He's a Phenomenon' - Exclusive: McLeish in awe of Celtic 'Fiend' after display

Alex McLeish has hailed Shane Duffy as “a phenomenon” for Celtic since his loan move from Brighton.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has been left in awe of the 28-year-old’s aerial dominance in his first games for the Hoops.

Duffy scored on his debut for the Bhoys with a towering header against Ross County and added a second in two games with the equaliser in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over St Mirren.

McLeish called the Republic of Ireland centre-back’s signing a “fantastic piece of business” for the Hoops when he first signed for Lennon’s men.

Having now seen the defender in action at Parkhead, the ex-Rangers manager has lauded his physical presence at both ends of the pitch.

McLeish told Football Insider: “You can see, he’s a phenomenon and he attacks the ball like a fiend. He’s jumping above all others when on the run.

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“A wee tip for people who maybe are going to play against him, don’t allow him to run. If gets runs, he’s going to get above most people.

“When I saw the Ross County game, I felt it was a little bit like boys against men. Celtic look so big, so strong and you can also add the technical players to that – McGregor, Scotty Brown, Edouard obviously.

“They look such a big team now and it kind of reminded me of back in Martin O’Neill’s day when we went head to head with them and the treble days – sorry to mention that!” 

Lennon dropped Christopher Jullien from the starting XI against St Mirren as Duffy lined up alongside Kristoffer Ajer, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Greg Taylor in defence.

The Hoops boss also used Nir Bitton as a makeshift centre-back on occasion prior to Duffy’s arrival.

In other Celtic news, Frank McAvennie is adamant a 25-year-old wants to quit the club.