Republic of Ireland U21 international Zack Elbouzedi has signed for Lincoln City.
Elbouzedi has joined the League One club on a long-term deal after the Imps agreed a compensation fee with Waterford.
The exciting midfielder, who scored for the Stephen Kenny’s Ireland U21s against Sweden and Armenia last month, turned down a number of Premier Division clubs in order to move to Lincoln.
“I’m delighted,” the 21-year-old told the Lincoln club website.
“I came over two weeks ago and really liked the place. I spoke to the manager, and there’s a really good vision for the club.”
Elbouzedi, who previously played with West Brom as a youth, scored six goals for Waterford in the SSE Airtricity League in his solitary season at the club.
An Ireland international since U15 level, the 21-year-old has also established himself as a key player under Kenny, with three goals in 10 appearances thus far.
“He’s a very exciting young player, he’s had a good year in terms of the stuff he’s been doing for Ireland U21s,” Imps manager Michael Appleton said.
“He’s gone under the radar a little playing for Waterford in the Irish League. We see this as a little bit of a coup for the football club, there’s been a few clubs showing a lot of interest in him.”
The Irish midfielder could make his Imps debut on New Year’s Day against Peterborough United, with a trip to former Premier League side Sunderland following shortly after.
Lincoln are currently 15th in League One.
The Imps are seven points off the play-off places, having played a game fewer than most of the teams around them, and are also seven clear of the relegation zone.
— Zack Elbouzedi (@zack_elbo11) December 16, 2019