Sam Stanton became Dundalk’s fifth new signing of the off season when he put pen to paper on a deal at Oriel Park last week.

The Scottish midfielder joins the Lilywhites from Phoenix Rising FC in America where he spent last season. Having previously been on the books of Hibernian and Dundee United in his homeland, there had been interest in the 26-year-old from Scottish Premiership side Ross County, where he had been on trial, but Dundalk pipped them to Stanton’s signature.

Speaking about his latest recruit, head coach Filippo Giovagnoli expressed the view that Stanton would be a big signing for Dundalk.

The article as it appeared in The Argus on February 2nd 2021

“Sam is a player that we scouted,” he said.

“We had a few players on the table but we decided he was the one to pick for his characteristics, for his knowledge of football and the environment in this part of the world.

“He’s a player who I think will fit well in this league. He has also some experience playing overseas and he did well in his country, especially with Dundee United.

“He’s a good, young, mature player and that fits into our profile. He’s a modern midfielder who can adapt, who can run and who can score. We really like him. He’s a big profile for us.”

Another midfielder who reported back for pre-season training this week is Will Patching who will be given a chance to prove himself this season despite rumours his two year deal had ended prematurely at the end of last season.

While Patching’s minutes were limited in his debut season in Ireland, Giovagnoli said he had high hopes for the 22-year-old.

“With me he played but then there were some kind of issues but with me, at the beginning, he played. He played many league games when before he wasn’t playing at all but he’s under contract and he’s young so let’s see how he’s going to do.

“He has abilities. He grew up in one of the best academies in the world and he was a talent there so let’s see what he’s going to do.

“At the end of the day what you do on the pitch will decide who is going to play, it’s not really me, it’s the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Stefan Colovic’s departure from Oriel Park, as exclusively revealed by The Argus, was confirmed with the Serbian winger joining FK Čukarički in his homeland.

On Colovic, Giovagnoli said: “Stefan is a talented player who the club invested in less than a year ago but it was his decision to leave.

“The majority of the players that left, it was their decisions, for many reasons but that’s fine we’ll replace quality with quality.”