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.
“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.”