Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins said the Candystripes have landed "two of the best players in the country" after Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney were officially unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The pair had already agreed pre-contracts to join Derry from Dundalk, with deals rubber-stamped this week ahead of the winter break.

On Monday, Derry landed another player from Dundalk, Will Patching, as they continue to build a squad they hope will launch a serious title challenge next season.

Patching, McEleney and Duffy have all plied their trade at the Brandywell previously.

Duffy, who has signed a four-year contract, played 80 times and scored 20 goals before leaving for Celtic in 2015.

McEleney departed during the same season, tempted to Oriel Park by Stephen Kenny having scored 43 goals in 225 appearances for his hometown club.

Patching spent the first half of this season at the Brandywell on loan from Dundalk, notching six goals and six assists in 16 outings before he was recalled by his parent club at the end of June.

"I have worked with both Michael and Patrick over the past few years and am delighted that they have agreed to come home," said Higgins.

"We have brought two of the best players in the country to the club. The honours they've both won over the past number of seasons tells its own story.

"They have loads of goals in them too, but just as importantly, both players bring a real desire and winning mentality into the dressing room.

"We're in a very tough league and you need the very top players to compete. These two lads are very definitely in that category and I know our supporters will be looking forward to seeing them back in red and white in 2022 "