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Derry City pull off major transfer coup by signing Man City playmaker Joe Hodge on loan

Joe Hodge

What a signing for the Candystripes.

Derry City have been given a major boost ahead of the 2021 League of Ireland season after they confirmed a deal to sign Manchester City’s Joe Hodge on loan.

The highly-rated 18-year-old will link up with the Candystripes for six months before returning to the Etihad Stadium.

Hodge

Joe Hodge.

Hodge is an Ireland underage international having turned out for the under-17 and under-19 teams, while he is expected to earn his under-21 debut in the upcoming European Championships qualifying campaign.

The midfielder is an English-born player who qualifies for Ireland through his Irish grandmother.

Having helped City win the FA Youth Cup, Hodge is keen to get regular senior football under his belt before he attempts to break into Pep Guardiola’s first team.

Joe Hodge

Declan Devine on Joe Hodge.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be bringing Joe to Derry City,” said Derry City boss Declan Devine.

“It’s a high profile loan signing for us given that Man City are one of the biggest clubs in the world and Joe is one of their top young talents and current ‘Scholar of the Year’.”

“Of course Joe is just 18 years old and this will be his first venture into senior football.

“We want to help him evolve and to enjoy this opportunity. I’m hoping that his spell with Derry City will play some small part in the youngster fulfilling his potential.”

“I’d like to thank Manchester City for their assistance in getting the deal done and assure them we will look after the lad.”

Derry finished seventh in the 2020 League of Ireland table. The Candystripes will begin their 2021 campaign away to Longford Town on March 20.

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