The footballers from Ireland had a busy transfer window as many players moved to try their luck at new clubs, and on the deadline day, it was hectic in Ireland. Like in other European top leagues, the Irish League was also in a hurry to complete deals at the last minute.

One of the main highlight transfers in January was the move of Cathal Heffernan. He moved to the Italian football club AC Milan on a loan deal from Cork City. The 16-year-old defender is captain of the Republic of Ireland’s U17’s and has been on trial with the Italian giants.

Cathal Heffernan’s mother is former Ireland track athlete Marian and his father is former race walking Olympic bronze medallist Rob Heffernan. After the signing, Rob posted on social media: “Finally, it’s official. So proud of you Cathal this is only the beginning. Now it’s time to work.”

Heffernan has already played senior first-team football for Cork, making his debut with the League of Ireland First Division side last year.

In an Instagram post, Cathal wrote: “Words can’t describe how happy I am. Can’t wait to get started and I’d like to thank all my family.”

Cathal also thanked former Ireland and Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland for helping to facilitate the opportunity to join Milan.

Two Republic of Ireland midfielders managed to secure late deadline day transfers. Jeff Hendrick left Newcastle United to sign for Queens Park Rangers, and Jamie McGrath completed a move to Wigan Athletic from St Mirren.

Scottish rivals Aberdeen and Hibernian were linked with the 25-year-old Jamie McGrath, but Wigan, competing for promotion to the Championship this season, pushed hard to get a deal done before the transfer window closed.

“We are delighted to complete the permanent transfer of Republic of Ireland international Jamie McGrath,” Wigan said.

“McGrath, 25, has joined Latics on a two-and-a-half-year contract, with the club paying an undisclosed fee for his services.”

Jeff Hendrick sealed a move from Newcastle to Championship¬†promotion-chasers Queens Park Rangers in the final hours of the transfer window. Hendrick was informed that he was not part of Eddie Howe’s plans at Newcastle, and after a move to their local rivals, Middlesbrough failed, a switch to QPR was confirmed.

Brentford FC completed the loan signing of Irish teenager Deji Sotona from the French side Nice. The winger has been in France since 2020 after a spell in the Manchester United academy. After returning to England, he will join the B-team squad of the Bees.

“Deji has electrifying speed and we’ve been interested in him prior to his move to Nice. Our recruitment team have done a fantastic job in producing a trial game recently with the highest performing players. He did really well and we’re pleased to bring him in. It’s a good opportunity for Deji to keep his career moving forwards,” Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane said.