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Transfer deadline day: How Irish players fared in the January 'window'

  • Jamie McGrath joins Wigan on two-and-a-half year deal

  • Cork City's teenage star Cathal Heffernan seals dream AC Milan move
  • Jeff Hendrick moves to QPR

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Jamie McGrath has left St Mirren for English League One side Wigan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jamie McGrath has left St Mirren for English League One side Wigan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jamie McGrath has left St Mirren for English League One side Wigan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jamie McGrath will hook up with international team-mates James McClean and Will Keane after he completed his move to League One side Wigan from St Mirren.

The Meath native has made a big impression since his move from Dundalk to St Mirren and as he was out of contract at the end of the season, and was reluctant to sign a new deal with the Buddies, his exit from Jim Goodwin's club was expected.

Scottish rivals Aberdeen and HIbs were linked with the 25-year-old but Wigan, competing for promotion to the Championship this season, pushed hard to get a deal done before the transfer window closed, and Wigan confirmed their capture with a statement issued late on Monday night.

"We are delighted to complete the permanent transfer of Republic of Ireland international Jamie McGrath," Wigan said.

"McGrath, 25, has joined Latics on a two-and-a-half-year contract, with the club paying an undisclosed fee for his services."

AC MILAN: Cork City teenager Cathal Heffernan has sealed a dream move to Italian giants AC Milan.

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(l-r) Marian Heffernan, Cathal Heffernan, Rob Heffernan and former Ireland international Stephen Ireland after Cathal signed a contract with Italian giants AC Milan

(l-r) Marian Heffernan, Cathal Heffernan, Rob Heffernan and former Ireland international Stephen Ireland after Cathal signed a contract with Italian giants AC Milan

(l-r) Marian Heffernan, Cathal Heffernan, Rob Heffernan and former Ireland international Stephen Ireland after Cathal signed a contract with Italian giants AC Milan

Cathal, the son of Olympic race walking medallist Rob Heffernan and Irish Olympic athlete Marian, sealed a loan move to the Serie A club with a permanent move to be completed in the summer.

The Ireland Under-17 captain was awaiting international clearance for the loan move from the Turner's Cross club, but that's since been granted and the defender will aim to make the switch permanent in a few months times.

QPR: Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick sealed a move from Newcastle to Championship promotion chasers Queens Park Rangers in the final hours of the transfer window.

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Hendrick has been informed that he is not part of Eddie Howe's plans at Newcastle and after a move to their local rivals Middlesbrough failed to materialise, a switch to QPR was confirmed.

BRENTFORD: The Bees have completed the loan signing from French side Nice of Ireland underage international Deji Sotona.

The winger has been in France since 2020 after a spell in the Manchester United academy, and recent reports had linked Sotona with a return to England as Premier League clubs expressed an interest.

But Brentford have been able to conclude a deal, just before the transfer deadline closed on Monday night, to bring in Sotona and he will join their B team squad.

"Deji has electrifying speed and we've been interested in him prior to his move to Nice. Our recruitment team have done a fantastic job in producing a trial game recently with the highest performing players. He did really well and we're pleased to bring him in. It's a good opportunity for Deji to keep his career moving forwards," Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane said.

"We will push him relentlessly, as we do with all of our players, and hopefully he can have a really fruitful time here.

"He eliminates players with his speed, he likes to get at defenders, and hopefully he can add goals and assists at the top end of the pitch. We hope that Deji can buy into the culture within our group and if he can do that then we believe he can bring something to this club."

Sotona was capped by Ireland but has not been involved with the international side since he played for the U15s, against Holland in 2017.

Earlier today, the Bees were the first Premier League club to make a move on transfer deadline day as Christian Eriksen joined them on a deal until the end of the season, just seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The 29-year-old, who collapsed while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020 last summer, was a free agent after leaving Inter Milan by mutual consent as rules in Italy prevented him from playing with a implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device fitted.

The ex-Tottenham midfielder had been training with former club Ajax but has now agreed terms with Brentford having completed his medical assessments.

PORTSMOUTH: Pompey have hailed the arrival of their "goal threat" with the signing of Sunderland's Ireland international striker Aiden O'Brien.

Capped five times at senior level, O'Brien scored six times in 28 games for Sunderland this season but with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, the Black Cats agreed to let him move on and just days after he played for Sunderland against Pompey, the 28-year-old now joins the Fratton Park side.

“We’re really pleased to sign Aiden and from the moment I spoke to him, there was an energy and enthusiasm to join us. We’re lucky to be at such a renowned football club because there are so many players who want to come here," says Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley.

“Aiden brings us many different qualities and can play across the forward line, making penetrative runs.

“He looks after the ball well and links the play, while he can also drive forward and is always a goal threat. We’re really looking forward to him being part of this group and he knows quite a few of the lads already, which is important when you arrive on a short-term contract.”

Also on the move today is ex-U21 cap Glen Rea, who has joined Wigan Athletic on loan from Championship side Luton Town.

MORECAMBE: Former Dundalk man Dylan Connolly has completed a transfer deadline day move to Morecambe from League Two side Northampton Town while senior international Aiden O'Brien is today in Portsmouth hoping to seal his move there from Sunderland.

Earlier in the day Northampton had confirmed that midfielder Jordan Flores had left the club to join Bohemians, and they also agreed to a deal where Meath man Connolly moved up to League One club Morecambe, where Connolly joins a large Irish contingent.

"I know a few of the players from my time in football, I have lived with Shane (McLoughlin) in the past, I know Anthony (O’Connor) and Ryan (Delaney) as well," said Connolly.

"League One is a good standard and I am looking forward to testing myself at this level again, I will work really hard to earn myself a place in the team and I cannot wait to get started.

"My agent phoned me towards the end of last week and said that there was a bit of interest and it has just snowballed from there really, and we have managed to get everything done pretty quickly if I am honest.

"I am excited about the move, the gaffer thinks I can play a big part in the way he wants the team to play, a style which will complement my game too."

PRESTON: The Championship side have rejected a transfer deadline day offer from Championship rivals Cardiff City to take McGrath's fellow Ireland international Seani Maguire on loan.

IRISH DEADLINE DAY MOVES

Jamie McGrath, St Mirren to Wigan

Jeff Hendrick, Newcastle to QPR

Dylan Connolly, Northampton to Morecambe

Aiden O'Brien, Sunderland to Portsmouth

Glen Rea, Luton to Wigan, loanDeji Sotona, Nice to Brentford, loan

Tyreik Wright, Aston Villa to Colchester, loan

Ryan Delaney, Morecambe to Scunthorpe, loan

Tom O'Connor, Burton Albion to Wrexham

Niall Canavan, Bradford City to Barrow

Ali Reghba, Leicester to CR Belouizdad (Algeria)

Jordan Flores, Northampton Town to Bohemians

Matt Healy, Ipswich Town to Cork City, loan


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