Robbie Brady will make his Premier League return at Watford on Saturday after Burnley captured the Ireland international in a club record deal of €15m last night.
As revealed in last Friday’s Irish Examiner, the 25-year-old’s preferred destination among the various options was the Clarets. He had agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal in advance of his final game for Norwich City at the weekend.
Canaries boss Alex Neil was reluctant to lose one his key wide men without sourcing a replacement. The recruitment of Yanic Wildschut yesterday removed the brakes he applied to the deal in recent days.
Brady completed the formalities yesterday with a medical, followed by a visit to Turf Moor to take in Burnley’s clash against Leicester. Their victory continued their splendid home form and pushed Sean Dyche’s side into ninth.
Dyche said: “They (Brady and fellow new signing Ashley Westwood) bring different types of quality to the squad. We’ve put in some building blocks with these signings. Robbie can play a number of positions, either wide or in a central area.”
It was the Foxes who triggered the transfer interest in Brady back in the summer but they weren’t prepared to meet Norwich’s valuation. In contrast, Sunderland boss David Moyes had a bid accepted, yet the Dubliner opted against that move.
He now links up with the player his transfer fee usurped for a club record, Jeff Hendrick, as well as Stephen Ward.
Ireland defender Marc Wilson will be hoping for first-team exposure after linking up with his former boss Tony Pulis at West Brom in a loan switch from Bournemouth.
Everton have loaned Irish U19 winger Steven Kinsella to Dundalk for the season.
Irish defender Kevin Toner will spend the rest of the season at Bradford after Aston Villa agreed to a loan deal.
Elsewhere, prospective Irish international Scott Hogan sealed his exit from Brentford but it was the claret and blue of Villa, rather than West Ham, he ended up in. The striker moved for €14m.
In other deals finalised on deadline day, striker Conor Sammon rejoined Kilmarnock from rivals Hearts on loan
Also departing on loan until the end of the season is another frontman, Eoin Doyle. He was permitted by Preston to reunite with his former Sligo Rovers boss Paul Cook at League Two promotion contenders Portsmouth.
Conor Hourihane endured a tough debut for Aston Villa last night as the €2m signing from Barnsley failed to make much impact as they slumped to a heavy defeat at Brentford.
Darron Gibson, fresh from his move from Everton on Monday, should make his bow for Sunderland at Palace on Saturday — his switch wasn’t compete in time for last night’s game against Spurs.
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