Everton boss David Moyes is set to put his faith in Shane Duffy as Everton enter a pivotal spell in the Blues boss’ Goodison reign.
The Derry born Ireland international has been told he is right in the mix to challenge favoured pair Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin for a first-team place as the Toffees chase a top four finish and FA Cup glory.
Duffy had previously been fourth in line to start in central defence and Moyes had considered allowing him to go on loan to gather experience, but has been impressed with his development in recent months.
And with John Heitinga’s poor run of form proving costly in recent weeks, Moyes has informed Duffy he will be going nowhere as the club attempts to compete on two fronts which could yet prove crucial to Moyes’ own Goodison future.
The 21-year-old was selected ahead of Heitinga to come on as a late substitute during Saturday’s fifth round FA Cup draw with Oldham, and will be on the bench again for the visit to face Norwich at Carrow Road in the Premier League on Saturday.
Earlier this month Duffy led the Ireland U21's to an impressive 3-0 win over the Netherlands in Tallaght Stadium and the young Galliagh defender will be keen to get some club games under his belt and force his way into Trapattoni's senior Ireland squad.