Stephen O’Donnell believes that Louie Annesley’s arrival at Oriel Park will have been worth the wait.

The 22-year-old became O’Donnell’s first new arrival ahead of the 2023 campaign when he completed his move from Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday morning.

Speaking last week, the Lilywhites head coach called on the fans to be patient in relation to transfers and he pointed to Annesley’s recruitment as evidence that the club was working hard behind the scenes to bring deals to a conclusion.

“It’s one that was in play for a long time,” said O’Donnell. “Louie’s a player we were after throughout the off season and we’re delighted to get him to the club.

“Like all of our targets, we have had to be patient but, as I said last week, we didn’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity.

“We’re going to have to wait for certain targets and we have no problems doing that if we believe they’re going to be worth waiting for.”

Annesley trained with the Dundalk squad on Monday and O’Donnell said the Gibraltar international had already shown glimpses of real quality.

“Louie was involved, did lots of conditioning work, and seems to have settled in really well. It’s a great group to come into, full of good players and people, so that won’t be an issue for any new player.

“I think he’s a player the fans will really take to and he’s a seasoned international with Gibraltar. He’s due to play against Ireland in June so that will add some intrigue to the fixture!”