Derry City have signed Will Patching to a two-year contract.
The English playmaker spent the first half of the 2021 season on loan from Dundalk at the Ryan McBride Brandywell, scoring six goals and providing just as many assists.
Patching was a near ever-present for the Lilywhites after returning in a deal which saw Junior move in the opposite direction, but was not nearly as potent as during his time on Foyleside.
“It’s brilliant for us to be able to bring a player of Will’s quality to the club on a permanent deal," said Derry manager, Ruaidhrí Higgins.
"He struck up an immediate relationship with our supporters earlier in the year and they will be excited to see him back at the club.
"We want to bring top players to Derry City and Will Patching is definitely in that category. I’m delighted to have him here.”
Through their plunder of Dundalk, Derry are assembling quite a squad for the 2022 season.
— Drive105MNL (@Drive105MNL) November 22, 2021
Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney have already committed to deals at the Brandywell for next season and beyond.
Higgins and co are still waiting to see if they will be playing European football next season. Friday night's win away to Dundalk saw them secure 4th spot in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. However, they're relying on St. Pat's winning Sunday's FAI Cup final to provide them with a route to the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Despite the European uncertainty, Patching told Drive 105 it was a "fairly easy" decision to return to Derry.
He added, "[Higgins'] plans and the project he's putting together at the club - it's only on the up, and everything's rising.
"It's something I want to be a part of, and I'm looking forward to it."