Derry City have brought midfielder Will Patching back to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium as they continue their recruitment drive for next season.

The 23-year-old spent the first half of this season at the Brandywell on loan from Dundalk and was outstanding throughout.

His six goals and six assists in 16 outings made him a fan favourite on Foyleside before he was recalled by his parent club at the end of June.

Patching scored the first goal of the Ruaidhri Higgins era as his penalty earned a win against Sligo Rovers.

While the Englishman returned to Louth in the summer, Derry continued their resurgance under Higgins and ended up sealing fourth spot on the final day of the season.

That could mean European football next campaign depending on if St Patrick's Athletic win the FAI Cup on Sunday.

It will be an exciting 2022 at Derry regardless with Patrick McEleney and Michael Duffy moving home from Dundalk already.

Patching completes a hat-trick of players moving from Oriel to the Candystripes, signing on a two-year deal.

The Derry boss told a press conference this afternoon that he is delighted to get his man.

Higgins said: "It’s brilliant for us to be able to bring a player of Will’s quality to the club on a permanent deal.

"He struck up an immediate relationship with our supporters earlier in the year and they will be excited to see him back at the club."

"We want to bring top players to Derry City and Will Patching is definitely in that category. I’m delighted to have him here."