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new signing ‘I’m buzzing’ – St Pat’s teen James Abankwah seals move to Italian Serie A club Udinese

18-year-old defender agrees deal - which could eventually be worth €1million to Saints - until summer of 2026

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James Abankwah is pictured with Udinese General Manager Franco Collavino after signing a four-and-a-half year deal with the Serie A club

James Abankwah is pictured with Udinese General Manager Franco Collavino after signing a four-and-a-half year deal with the Serie A club

James Abankwah is pictured with Udinese General Manager Franco Collavino after signing a four-and-a-half year deal with the Serie A club

St Patrick's Athletic have confirmed that teenage defender James Abankwah has completed a move to Serie A side Udinese.

The 18-year-old has been loaned back to the Saints until July which allows him to finish his Leaving Cert and gain more experience at home before relocating to Italy.

Abankwah is moving for a substantial six-figure sum with the potential for the deal to be worth more than €1m to the Saints in time.

He made 13 appearances for the Saints last term, including coming off the bench in the FAI Cup final.

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James Abankwah has sealed his move to Udinese. Photo: Sportsfile

James Abankwah has sealed his move to Udinese. Photo: Sportsfile

James Abankwah has sealed his move to Udinese. Photo: Sportsfile

The centre half grew up in Longford before relocating to Dublin and had spells with Melview and Cherry Orchard ahead of a switch to St Patrick's Athletic at the beginning of 2019.

"I'm buzzing and absolutely delighted," said Abankwah, speaking to the Saints website from Italy, after a signing a deal with the club until the summer of 2026.

"I found out last week about the interest, flew out on Monday, had my medical on Tuesday and signed today so I'm really looking forward to it. The people here are lovely, they've been very welcoming the city is very nice.

"I'm looking forward to getting going and still have a big six months at St Pat's and my Leaving Cert.

"I feel very happy right now, I'm lost for words."

Meanwhile, Drogheda United have announced the loan capture of Sam Long and Sean Roughan from League One side Lincoln City.

English goalkeeper Long (19) made his League One debut just last weekend in a 2-1 win over Plymouth while Irish underage international Sean Roughan is from Swords and has a close relationship with Drogs assistant boss Daire Doyle.

Roughan (18) made 11 appearances last season for Lincoln and attracted Premier League attention but has been restricted to just one appearance this term amid speculation around his future.

He is expected to move on from Lincoln to join a higher level club but will gain experience with Drogheda in the meantime.

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Drogheda's goalkeeper from last term David Odumosu has been on trial with several clubs in the UK but compensation will be needed to secure his services and Kevin Doherty has now effectively brought in his replacement.

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