Rory Patterson ends stint at Linfield to sign for Derry City
Rory Patterson has ended his loan spell at Linfield to sign a three-year deal with Derry City.
The Northern Ireland international was in the middle of a season-long loan at Windsor Park from Plymouth.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey said that the player "leaves with our full support and best wishes".
Jeffrey added that Derry City had initiated the move and the north west-based player had decided that it made "practical" sense to sign for the club.
The Linfield boss said that he was "bitterly disappointed" at Patterson's departure from Windsor Park but added that he "fully understood" the player's position.
Jeffrey insisted that Patterson had been "totally committed to Linfield" adding that he is "an absolutely solid character".
Patterson was unable to reproduce the brilliant form that he had displayed for Coleraine in the Carling Premiership although he was out of action for a number in weeks in the autumn because of a wrist injury.
However, he did show signs of getting back to his best when he scored a hat-trick in last weekend's 7-1 Irish Cup win over Ballyclare Comrades.
But with Peter Thompson back fit again, Linfield appear to have decided that they do have sufficient attacking strength to let Patterson go, although moves to strengthen the Blues goalscoring options during the current transfer window cannot be ruled out.
Patterson's arrival will strengthen a Derry squad that has lost last season's Airtricity League top goalscorer Eamon Zayed, who has moved to an Iranian club.
David McDaid also signed a new deal at the Brandywell earlier this week.