Date: 25th March 2011 at 3:59pm
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Burnley have strengthened their squad with the capture yesterday of Everton 19-year-old central defender Shane Duffy.

The Republic of Ireland under-21 international has signed a loan deal for an initial 28-day spell after agreeing to the move on Thursday’s emergency loan deadline day.

Duffy joined Everton’s Academy as a 16-year-old. Progressing through the ranks he made his first-team debut for the Toffees in a Europa League tie in December, 2009. He was named as Everton’s reserve team player of the year before suffering a freakish life-threatening injury on international duty last May. During a training ground incident he severed an artery near his liver during a match between the Republic of Ireland development squad and the Ireland amateur side after colliding with goalkeeper Adrian Walsh. He had to undergo life saving surgery at the Mater Hospital after damaging his liver but was discharged six days later after making a full recovery.

This pre-season though he returned and has been a regular for the reserves at Goodison Park. David Moyes has also selected him eight times on the bench at first-team level so far this season.

Eddie Howe clearly feels the need to improve his defensive options in the run-up to the end of the season with the Clarets still in with a chance of reaching the play-offs. It would appear though that Howe may have other intentions over and above a simple one-month loan stay. Duffy’s loan could be extended until the end of the season and there may even be a possibility of signing the highly rated defender on a permanent deal in the summer if everything works out well for all parties concerned.

The Burnley boss told the club’s official website:

‘He’s a young player who has done very well this season for Everton’s reserves and he is a player with big potential.

‘I’m delighted with the deal. It’s a double benefit in that it gives us a chance to look at him with a view to next season but he also increases competition for places now and comes straight into the squad.

‘We have got a lot of games in April. We will need to use the whole squad and Shane will add more depth.’

Having represented Northern Ireland up to under-21 and ‘B’ level, the County Derry born defender switched allegiance to the Republic of Ireland in February, 2010.

Duffy will link up with the Clarets next week after returning from international duty with the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad in Portugal.

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