Forest Green Rovers have announced the signing of Corey O’Keeffe via their official website.
The highly regarded wing-back joins the Green Devils despite being offered a new contract from Rochdale, with his current deal expiring at the end of June.
O’Keeffe’s arrival comes amid continued speculation regarding the future of Kane Wilson, with Watford the latest club to be linked.
The 24-year-old began his career with Birmingham City, but he only made one senior appearance for the Blues in a 4-0 defeat against Newcastle United.
Loan spells with Solihull Moors and Macclesfield Town saw the former Republic of Ireland youth international join Mansfield Town on a permanent deal after his release from St Andrew’s.
The Birmingham-born right-sided operator featured consistently for the Stags under manager Graham Coughlan, but he dropped out of the side when Nigel Clough took over in November 2020.
O’Keeffe joined Dale on loan for the first part of the latest campaign and moved to the Crown Oil Arena permanently in late January after impressing Robbie Stockdale with some outstanding displays on the right flank.
A perfect Wilson replacement for the Green Devils?
Forest Green Rovers have already admitted it will be difficult to keep Wilson this summer, and it will be challenging to replace him after he won the League Two Player of the Season award, but the club have recruited a very similar asset in the former Rochdale man.
Wilson topped the fourth-tier assist chart last time out, providing 13 goals for his teammates as they charged to the title, but O’Keeffe was not far away, recording nine assists in an underperforming Dale team.
League One will be a step up for the swashbuckling full-back, but with his athletic capabilities and strong crossing ability, he has the potential to be successful in the third tier.