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Northern Ireland boss back Ryan McLaughlin's move to Blackpool

New Blackpool signing Ryan McLaughlin in action for Oldham at Fleetwood last season
New Blackpool signing Ryan McLaughlin in action for Oldham at Fleetwood last season

Ryan McLaughlin says Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill has given the seal of approval to his move to Blackpool.

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The defender signed a two-year deal, with the option of a further 12 months, on Tuesday after compensation was agreed with his former club Oldham Athletic.

Capped by Northern Ireland on five occasions, the right-back has also represented his country at various youth levels prior to full senior recognition.

His most recent caps came against Costa Rica and Panama in May, when he was joined in the squad by new Blackpool team-mate Jordan Thompson.

McLaughlin revealed he had spoken to his international boss before finalising his move to Bloomfield Road – and said that O’Neill had only positive views on the move.

“It was very important to me to be placed as high as I can to keep getting those international call-ups,” McLaughlin said. “It was great to get a couple of caps in May.

“I spoke to Michael O’Neill about the move and he said Blackpool was a great club to go to.

“Jordan signed a couple of weeks ago too, so it will be good to have some good company from someone from back home. He’s a great player, so I’m looking forward to getting started playing alongside him.”

The brother of former Fleetwood Town defender Conor McLaughlin, the 23-year-old originally joined Oldham from Liverpool in 2016.

A versatile right-back, who is also capable of playing on the wing, McLaughlin departs Oldham having made 61 appearances in two seasons.

He became the club’s 12th summer signing on the same day former Arsenal defender Marc Bola was confirmed as a Blackpool player.

“I’m delighted to be here,” McLaughlin added. “To be honest it’s been on the cards for a while, so I’m just glad to finally get it all done.

“I know a few of the lads here already, so I’m just looking forward to getting out there and getting my fitness up ready for the new season.

“I talked to the manager and I got a really good feel for the club.

“I spoke to Jay Spearing, who I know well, and he had nothing but good things to say about the people and the place.

“I was just grateful to get on board and I’m hoping for a positive season.”

Blackpool’s first public friendlies take place in quick succession tomorrow, with the Seasiders sending separate sides to take on Nantwich Town (noon kick-off) and Port Vale (3pm).

A first ever trip to AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm awaits on Tuesday before Pool complete their pre-season preparations at Crewe Alexandra a week tomorrow.