Former Manchester United and Celtic defender Lee O’Connor has signed a permanent deal with Tranmere Rovers.
Ireland under-21 right-back Lee O’Connor has agreed a permanent contract with Tranmere Rovers after spending nearly 18 months on loan with the League Two side.
O’Connor joins on a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee, which will see him remain at the club until the summer of 2024.
The Waterford man joined Celtic from Manchester United’s academy in 2019, but failed to make a competitive appearance for the Hoops.
He then spent a short period out on loan with Partick Thistle in April 2020 before linking up with Merseyside outfit Tranmere a few months later.
O’Connor became a regular fixture in the Rovers team last season as they made it to the League Two play-off stages.
Since re-signing for the 2021/2022 campaign, he has switched to centre-midfield, where he has excelled alongside former Liverpool man Jay Spearing.
Lee O’Connor delighted with his development at Tranmere Rovers
O’Connor has played 18 times this season so it is no surprise that he is pleased wtih his current situation at Tranmere.
The club are currently in second place in League Two and the one-time Ireland international plans on playing a major role in their promotion charge.
“I’ve really felt at home since my first day,” O’Connor told the club’s official website after signing his new deal.
“Not only am I enjoying it personally but I think I’m developing really well and I just want to continue that.
?️ "Not just am I enjoying it personally, but with my football I'm developing really well."
— Tranmere Rovers FC (@TranmereRovers) January 25, 2022
“I feel like this is the best thing for my career and it was an easy decision. To play your best football you have to be happy and I’m happy.
“We’re on a good run now and it’s just about keeping it going, starting with a big game on Saturday.”
Lee O’Connor takes first steps towards Ireland recall
O’Connor made his senior Ireland debut in November 2019 under Mick McCarthy, but has failed to receive a call-up from his old under-21 boss Stephen Kenny to date.
O’Connor appeared against Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium for his one and only cap, along with fellow debutants Josh Cullen, Jack Byrne, Mark Travers, Kieran O’Hara and James Collins.
Tranmere Rovers have announced the permanent signing of Ireland U21 international Lee O'Connor ??⚽️?
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) January 25, 2022
The youngster assisted a goal in the 3-1 win and looked destined for big things, only to be subsequently hampered by limited opportunities at Celtic Park.
Similarly to fellow Ireland underage internationals Bosun Lawal, Luca Connell and Jonathan Afolabi; O’Connor was summoned to the ‘Celtic B’ side during his stay, but today’s news could now open the next chapter of his professional career.
Playing in a position that suits him, playing for a club where he is “happy” and playing regular senior football – this looks like a good move for the 21-year-old.