'Brilliant' Lukaku one of the best in the world - Duffy

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The Republic of Ireland and Brighton defender knows the damage the former Everton forward can cause from a previous stint together

Brighton defender Shane Duffy has praised former Everton team-mate Romelu Lukaku for the start he has made at Manchester United.

The Belgium international has struck 24 times in his debut season at Old Trafford and on Saturday will come up against his former colleague in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Republic of Ireland international Duffy is relishing the opportunity to lock horns with a man he knew from his time at Goodison Park, though he is acutely aware of the damage the striker can cause.

“The goals he has got show what he can do,” Duffy told the Daily Express . “We were both at Everton at the same time. He’s done brilliantly and is now regarded as one of the top strikers in the world.

“He’s still young. He has a lot of pressure on him trying to deliver goals for Manchester United – it’s not an easy task.”

Duffy also praised Seagulls manager Chris Hughton for elevating his game to its current level.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him, for what he has done for me personally, and at this club to bring them from where they were when he first came in to now,” he said.

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“Now he is getting the credit he fully deserves. He’s brought my game on to a level I thought I could probably never get to.

“He has both sides of it – the coaching and managing a squad. He is very level-headed – you don’t know if he’s happy or not! What you see is what you get and that’s why he has respect from everyone in the game.”

Brighton sit 11th in the Premier League and are chasing their first ever FA Cup triumph.

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