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Northern Ireland full-back Ryan McLaughlin signs for Blackpool as boss looks to unlock potential

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland full-back Ryan McLaughlin has joined League One side Blackpool.

The 23-year-old makes the move from Oldham Athletic after compensation was agreed between the clubs, with the former Glenavon and Liverpool man out of contract at Boundary Park.

He has signed a two-year deal at Bloomfield Road and will link up with fellow Northern Irishman Jordan Thompson, who join Gary Bowyer's side from Rangers earlier this summer.

McLaughlin's new manager is hopeful the move can help spur the player on to bigger and better things.

“I’m absolutely delighted to bring Ryan to the club," said Blackpool boss Bowyer. "We have been working very hard on this deal all summer and his desire to join us has been incredible. He’s an exciting addition capable of playing in a variety of positions and, in my opinion, he has all the qualities to play at a higher level. We’re looking forward to bringing that talent out during his time with us.”

McLaughlin, a right-back who can also play on the wing, came on as a substitute in Northern Ireland's recent friendlies against Costa Rica and Panama.

“It’s been on the cards for a while and I’m delighted to finally get it all done," he told the Blackpool club website of his transfer. "I’m looking forward to getting into training now and seeing all the lads. I talked to the manager and I got a really good feel for the club when I was speaking to him. I’m just delighted to come here.”

Ryan has to vie for the starting right-back spot for his country with brother Conor, who plays for Championship side Millwall. Ryan joined Oldham from Liverpool on a free transfer in 2016.

Blackpool finished 12th in League One last season, 10 points ahead of 21st placed Oldham, who were relegated to League Two.

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