Former Brighton midfielder Gary Dicker says Shane Duffy is not the first Premier League player to have struggled in the Scottish top flight and he will not be the last.

The 29-year-old defender spent last season on loan at Celtic from the Seagulls.

However, after a good start to life in Scotland, he found himself struggling to get game time after the turn of the year, before playing his last game for the Hoops in February and having to watch on from the bench for the remainder of the season.

But Dicker, who was playing at Kilmarnock last season, insists Duffy is not the first Premier League player whose time in Scotland did not go to plan.

He told The Argus: “The first time it happened when I was up there, was when Joey Barton went up to play for Rangers.

“He said he was going to be the player of the year and be the best player in the league.

“He ended up hardly kicking the ball for them and was out the door in January and he was a top Premier League player as well, who had a great career.

“You look at John McGinn - he ended up going to Aston Villa and he has been brilliant since.

“I think people do not look at the Scottish Premiership and think it is not as strong as the two big teams in it (Celtic and Rangers), but there are good players in every league, that is the same with the Championship, League One and League Two, everywhere there is always a good standard in the league. You cannot underestimate it up there as it is a pressure cooker, even though it is a smaller league, the spotlight is always on you.”

He added: “I think that it is more a fan’s perception of players and the standard up there.

“I’m sure he (Duffy) would have watched enough of Scottish football and would have spoken to people that played up there.

“People do knock it and don’t think it is a good standard. But I think it has got everything up there. You can be on the front and back page of five papers up there and you have got the games on Sky and BT Sport as well.

“It is a massive interest to people in Scotland and if you promote the league well with Rangers flying high in Europe as well, I think it will only enhance the league.”

Dicker also believes the criticism of Duffy’s performances was harsh.

He said: “I think the criticism was unfair.

“You are not playing out there on your own and Celtic struggled this year and when it is a loan player, you have paid a loan fee for, people want to jump all over it.

“But it was a tough season for a lot of players and, with the pressure he would have put on himself, with him being a big Celtic fan there, there will be no one who is more disappointed they did not get ten in a row than Shane.

“But it happens. You get periods in your career where for some reason things don’t go well for you.

“But I am sure he is big and bold enough to know what he needs to do .

“You don’t become a bad player overnight or you are finished overnight just because of a few bad performances. But he would have learned an awful lot from it and being up there.

“He’ll come back to Brighton and be hungry to get back and get involved, having seen how well that they are playing. For him, all it takes is an injury or two and he is back in the team.”

Duffy himself is ready to get back to his best.

Read more: Brighton's Shane Duffy wants to get back to his best next season