Former Liverpool youngster and Blackpool defender makes Morecambe move
Stephen Robinson has brought in a familiar face after bolstering his Morecambe squad with the signing of Ryan McLaughlin.
The 26-year-old full-back had been a free agent after leaving Rochdale over the summer.
A Northern Ireland international, he fills the gap created by Kelvin Mellor’s deadline day departure for Carlisle United.
Robinson and McLaughlin know each other well, having worked together at international level before linking up at Oldham Athletic in the summer of 2016.
After completing the move, McLaughlin said: “It’s a great feeling.
“I’ve had to wait a while. I finished the season in May and we’re in September now, but it’s great just to finally get it going and I’ve been training with the lads all week, so I’ve been really enjoying it.
“I know the gaffer from when I was 13 or 14 with the underage groups at Northern Ireland, so I’ve always been looking out for his results.
“I’ve seen the performances and how good a lot of them have been, especially getting good results against the bigger clubs, as you would say, in League One.
“We can obviously hold our own and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
McLaughlin came through the youth ranks at Liverpool, going on to feature for Aberdeen and Barnsley on loan.
After his time with Oldham, he joined Blackpool in 2018 before making the move to Rochdale a few months later.
Robinson added: “It’s a position where I let Kelvin Mellor go because he wanted first-team football and I couldn’t guarantee that with the form of Ryan Cooney.
“It was only right to let him go but, with him and Sam (Lavelle) going, it was right to bring someone in.
“I believe that we’ve got a very good player in Ryan McLaughlin.
“I’ve worked with Ryan since he was 15 years of age at all the international levels, and I signed him at Oldham as well.
“He’s now become a more mature player, he’s played a lot of games at League One level.
“He’ll certainly rival Ryan Cooney now and really push Ryan on as well hopefully, but he also gives me options in other positions.
“Ryan can play in a variety of different positions, at full-back, right-wing, left-side he’s played as well, left-back, left-wing, so he’s another one that I believe adds to the squad.”
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