McLaughlin signs three-year contract at Everton

Gavin McLaughlin


Gavin McLaughlin

BEN McLaughlin finally put pen to paper on a three-year contract with English Premiership club Everton last Friday.

BEN McLaughlin finally put pen to paper on a three-year contract with English Premiership club Everton last Friday.

The 17-year-old travelled to Liverpool with his parents to pen the deal and after returning to Dundalk over the weekend, he will start his new career as an Evertonian this week.

And speaking on Sunday morning, Dundalk FC Head of Youth Development Martin Connolly said that the Lilywhites were delighted with the terms of the deal.

“The club are very happy with the way it was dealt with. Everton showed their professionalism in the way they conducted themselves. They have been looking at Ben for a while. Their Chief Scout in Ireland, Paul Hamill, has known about Ben since he was a kid but it is completely different watching somebody as a kid and from watching them in the first-team. When Ben came in to the first-team they really showed interest. There were other clubs looking but Everton followed it through.

“His parents are very happy”, added Connolly. “They travelled with him to Liverpool on Friday and they are happy with his digs and that sort of thing. The first people he met in England were Shane Duffy and Seamus Coleman so he is delighted. He is going to a fabulous club.”

The transfer fee is undisclosed but Connolly says that Dundalk will benefit from add ons if McLaughlin progresses through the ranks at Goodison Park.

“The add ons are very favourable for Dundalk. We will get something if he goes on to make certain first team appearances, there is a payment due if he makes international appearances both at senior and under-age level and of course there is a friendly against an Everton XI which will be played over the term of Ben’s contract.

“Everton didn’t really want to commit to sending over their first team, which is understandable but it wasn’t a problem for us. We would be quite happy to facilitate an Everton XI and be confident of generating income from it.”

McLaughlin is expected to go straight into Everton’s U21 squad, managed by former Blues defender Alan Stubbs.

“The system in England has changed slightly”, explained Connolly. “There is an U21/Reserve team in place but Ben is also under-age for their academy team. He will train with the U21 squad but for game time he will also play with the academy.”