Southend United have completed the permanent signing of on-loan Watford defender Adam Thompson for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old has impressed at Roots Hall since initially joining in August, and the Shrimpers reportedly had to beat off competition from other clubs to land his signature on a full time basis.
Northern Ireland international Thompson has penned an 18-month contract with the League Two promotion chasers.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Southend United and it’s the best I’ve ever felt in my career," he told the club's official website.
“I knew quite a while ago that I would be really interested in joining the club on a permanent basis so I’m delighted it has happened.
“It’s really important for my progression that I work as hard as I can to become a regular in the team and help Southend achieve promotion this season.”
More top news
Low cloud and mist developing overnight. Another mild night ahead. Generally rather cloudy tomorrow, with a few brighter breaks developing.
Generally cloudy with occasional outbreaks of rain during the morning. Some glimpses of the sun are possible. Feeling mild
We're one week into December and the countdown to Christmas is well underway. Read the latest in ITV News Anglia's Christmas Shout Outs.