Dundalk sign Zak Johnson on loan from Sunderland

Oriel Park

Oriel Park Credit: Clare McCahill (ETPhotos)

Johnson has signed for the Lilywhites ahead of the opening league fixture against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night.

The 19-year-old central defender becomes the 11th new signing for Stephen O’Donnell during the off-season. Johnson is also the club's fourth incoming on loan. 

The Englishman began his professional career with his parent club Sunderland, penning his first contract in 2022. He became the youngest outfield player to play for the Championship outfit in 50 years.

Johnson has played with the English internationally at Under-18 level, captaining them at a tournament in Portugal last summer.

Most recently the young defender was on a six-month loan at Hartlepool United, making 12 National League appearances.

“When Sunderland agreed that I should go and get some minutes elsewhere, I set up a Zoom call with the gaffer here and Brian Gartland and I was hooked straight away” Johnson said about the move.

“I know for my development that I need to play first-team football and I think this will be a great opportunity for me to take a big step forward in my career.”

Dundalk manager Stephen O’Donnell said, “Zak has had his first-team experience already this season with Hartlepool and he captained England U18s last summer which is a great achievement considering the wealth of talent at underage level.

“Physically, he is a big specimen and he has a good personality and we are looking forward to having him in the group.”

Yesterday, Dundalk announced another signing ahead of the league kick off this weekend.