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By Trialist

Derry City manager Stephen Kenny has revealed precisely how much Celtic paid for 24-year old winger Paddy McCourt, who yesterday became Gordon Strachan's first signing of the summer transfer window.

And we would all hope in Timdom that the £100,000 outlay has not dented Gordon Strachan's transfer kitty, even with the modest fee rising by £50,000 once Paddy McCourt plays a certain number of games in the Hoops.

Needless to say, there is also the mandatory match. Well, two of them to be exact, both friendlies between Derry City and Celtic to be played at Brandywell as part of the deal that brings Paddy McCourt to Paradise on a three-year deal.

Former Dunfermline manager Stephen Kenny explained: “Paddy's contract with Derry City expires in November and he told us that he wanted to move on and try his luck elsewhere when it did.”

Stephen Kenny continued: “We were keen to get some money for him and have done that by selling him to Celtic for £100,000. We will receive another £50,000 if he plays a certain number of games. Celtic will also come to Brandywell for two friendlies.”

Stephen Kenny added: “But, to be honest, this isn't really a great deal for Derry City. He is worth far, far more than that. Remember, Manchester City bid £1.5m for him when he was at Rochdale just a few years ago.”

Stephen Kenny also believes that, although Paddy McCourt will face the sternest of competition for a first-team berth at Celtic, the Northern Ireland international will not look out of place in the Hoops and is technically a “brilliant” player.

Stephen Kenny said: “This Celtic team has won the SPL three years running. With Aiden McGeady and Shunsuke Nakamura there, Paddy is going to find it hard to get a place in the side. Having said that, Celtic play an awful lot of games. I have no doubt there will be opportunities for him. And, once he gets in, I'm sure he won't look out of place.”

Stephen Kenny continued: “We certainly won't be able to replace him at Derry. Celtic are getting a free spirit. He is a real one off. He is probably the most talented player I have ever worked with. Technically, he is brilliant.”

Stephen Kenny added: “Perhaps he doesn't have the greatest lung capacity or stamina. He isn't going to win any long-distance races. But he makes up for that weakness in other ways.”

Stephen Kenny is confident Paddy McCourt will “flourish” at Celtic and the Derry City manager explained further about what Celtic fans can expect from this surprise signing, namely a winger who is able to play on either flank.

Stephen Kenny said: “He will be playing with good players in a very settled Celtic side, which has won the League for the last three seasons, and I am positive he will flourish.”

Stephen Kenny explained: “He's a player you wouldn't normally associate with Ireland or the UK. He can play on either flank or through the middle and he is a dribbler. He can go right or left and is very sharp. You won't see many like him because he is a free spirit. He runs quicker with the ball than without it and he really is that exciting. He deserves to play at a higher level.”

Stephen Kenny continued: “He is not blessed with natural stamina. He needs to work hard to be fit but he has speed to burn. He is a right-footed player who can play on either side of the team. To be honest, he is just as dangerous on the left wing as he is on the right wing. I have played him through the centre in a 4-3-2-1 formation with Derry City this season and he has done extremely well for us in that role.”

Stephen Kenny added: “He isn't a prolific scorer, but he will weigh in with a few. He will certainly set up many more for his team mates with crosses into the box from out wide. His style is more like a South American. In terms of natural talent he is the best player I have worked with.”



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