Does Shane Duffy have a future at Everton?

The defender has gone on loan to Yeovil – is it a waste of his talents?

Shane Duffy may have been forced to go out on loan in a bid to get more first-team experience, but is Roberto Martinez blocking his route to more playing time by banking on foreign stars instead?

While Ross Barkley has emerged as a major English talent this season, people in some quarters believe former manager David Moyes may have been one of the reasons why the player did not feature more over the previous season.

Moyes has always been a firm believer in nurturing talent and easing them into the game, with Wayne Rooney and Jack Rodwell used similarly sparingly during their early years at the club and Duffy would have been forgiven for thinking the same.

An international from under-16 to under-21 level, the defender has played just five times for Everton with Moyes opting to send him out on loan to Scunthorpe last term, where he played 18 times – the most in a single season of his career – last season.

The talent was evidently there, with Giovanni Trappattoni calling the player up as a replacement for the injured Richard Dunne in a recent Republic of Ireland squad.

So when the over-cautious Moyes departed this summer, the 21-year-old defender may have thought and hoped new manager Roberto Martinez would be more inclined to use the star.

Everton may have plenty of options in defence, with John Heitinga, Sylvain Distain and Phil Jagielka, but with the Frenchman proving no spring chicken, opportunities to play would have been there.

But then Martinez did something Duffy didn’t expect – he signed Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz. The Paraguayan may have been a bargain free transfer, but the question remains as to what it means for Irishman’s future.

A loan move to Yeovil may offer Championship football but will it help the player reach the required standard set in the Premier League and if he is being kept out by a defender who featured in one of the worst defences in top-flight last term, what does it say about his own abilities?

It’s the kind of move showcased by some as ‘everything that is wrong with English football’ as foreign imports block the route to first team football. Martinez may see it as a sensible move for the good of the team and the fans, but there will be some who would have welcomed the use of a home-grown player with the potential to reach the top.

One man, at least, who appears to understand the value of the player is Yeovil boss Gary Johnson.

"When we knew Shane was available for loan we immediately enquired about bringing him to Huish Park," he told the club’s website. "This signing suits all parties and as always we are very grateful to Everton."

Duffy has meanwhile stayed relatively quiet on the decision – let’s hope his football does the talking.

image: © yellowbookltd

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