The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Ben Baker

REPUB­LIC of Ire­land de­fender Shane Duffy sat out Fri­day’s clash with Wales due to a bro­ken foot, but Brighton boss Chris Hughton is back­ing his cen­tre-half to be a key fig­ure on the in­ter­na­tional stage for years to come.

Duffy joined Brighton in Au­gust for a club record fee, be­lieved to be around £4mil­lion, and has gone on to make 31 ap­pear­ance for the high-fly­ing Seag­ulls.

How­ever, the 25-year-old frac­tured a metatarsal in the clos­ing stages of a 3-0 de­feat at Not­ting­ham For­est at the be­gin­ning of the month and had not re­cov­ered in time to play for Ire­land against Wales on Fri­day.

But Brighton boss Hughton be­lieves Duffy will be an in­ter­na­tional star for years to come.

“It seems a good time for him (Duffy), when I look at some of the es­tab­lished cen­tre-halves over the years that have served the team re­ally well,” Hughton said.

“He’s some­body that has played more and more of late. I’m very much hop­ing it’s ex­cit­ing times for him on the in­ter­na­tional scene and, if that is the case, we will cer­tainly ben­e­fit from that.”

IM­PACT: Shane Duffy

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