Nottingham Forest have signed Stephen McLaughlin from Derry City in a three-and-a-half year deal believed to be worth £160,000 plus add-ons.
The 22-year-old left-winger impressed during a week on loan at the City Ground and will go straight in to the development squad with a view to making the first team.
Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi said: “Stephen is an exciting young talent who been attracting attention from a number of other English clubs.
“We are delighted he is joining us and look forward to helping him develop his career and fulfilling his great potential.”
McLaughlin added: “Things are just going better and better each week for me. I came here on trial after I won the FAI Cup with Derry City.
“I was called back, completed my fitness test and medical, went home for Christmas and now I’m back again to sign.
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“I’m not used to how professionally things are run here – this is my first major club. No disrespect to Derry, but this is a massive club and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
“I heard that Alan Hill was coming over to have a look at me and I was excited, but there were a heap of scouts watching me throughout the season so I just played my normal game. Thankfully, he liked what he saw and brought me over.
“I’m a natural left-winger. I do a lot of defending as well as attacking and have this year brought goals to my game – I scored 18 goals last season and created a lot, too. Hopefully I can do the same here.
“I’m 22. Playing in the development squad will be very important. It’ll allow me get my bearings and to get a feel of how the game is played over here. Hopefully, from there, I’ll be called upon for the first team.”