STEPHEN KENNY believes Patrick McEleney is ‘probably the most naturally gifted’ footballer the League of Ireland has seen since ex-Derry City winger Paddy McCourt!
McEleney joined Kenny’s Dundalk on a two-year deal on Tuesday evening and the Dubliner likened the player to fellow Shantallow man, McCourt.
“Patrick McEleney’s probably the most natural footballer that there’s been in the league since Paddy McCourt. What a footballer!,” said Dundalk manager, Kenny.
Kenny believes McEleney will have more freedom of expression at the league champions and is excited about the prospect of rekindling their relationship which began at Brandywell Stadium back in 2009.
“I gave Patrick his debut at Derry when he was 17 and he got 14 goals for me in the First Division.
“Then the following year he was outstanding. Eamon Zayed got ‘player of the year’ and he played behind Zayed.
Patrick McEleney’s probably the most natural footballer that there’s been in the league since Paddy McCourt. What a footballer!Stephen Kenny
“He’s had a slightly up and down few years since then; he’s been a bit erratic; moments of magic and some great goals but it’s been injury interrupted.
“Anytime I went to look at him he always seemed to feel that he had to do something exceptional and it didn’t always come off.
“But we dominate possession in nearly all of the games that we play so he’ll have a lot of the ball and so while we’ll look for him to give it simple when that’s the best option, the opportunities for him to be creative will certainly be there.”