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Southampton agree to extend Ireland U21 international's loan at League One side

Tom O’Connor will stay with Gillingham until the end of the season.

Tom O'Connor pictured before the Ireland U21 side's recent win over Sweden.
Tom O'Connor pictured before the Ireland U21 side's recent win over Sweden.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

TOM O’CONNOR WILL remain a Gillingham player until the end of the season after Southampton agreed to extend his loan spell with the League One club.

O’Connor, who captained the Saints at U23 level, has made 21 appearances in all competitions since joining Gillingham in August.

The deal for the left-sided defender, who can also play in midfield, was initially due to expire in January, but the Premier League club confirmed today that he’ll be allowed to stay with the Gills for the remainder of the campaign.

In a press release, Southampton said they will “closely monitor O’Connor’s progress for the rest of the season,” with Gillingham currently four points adrift of a play-off place.

O’Connor’s form earned him international recognition at U21 level for the first time last month. With Darragh Leahy ruled out through injury, he impressed at left-back in Ireland’s European Championship qualifying wins over Armenia and Sweden.

The 20-year-old joined Southampton in 2015 and earlier this year had his contract extended until June 2021.

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Paul Dollery

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