Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes has made Northern Ireland teenager Johnny Flynn his first signing of the January transfer window.
The 18-year-old defender moves to Ewood Park from Ballymena United for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
Ballymena boss Tommy Wright said: "I am reluctant to talk up young players, but in my opinion Johnny Flynn is the best teenage defender I have seen in the Irish League for some time.
"He is composed, mature and calm on the ball, and he is also a good defender.
"I think Blackburn have got a very talented defender who is good in the air, has a nice range of passing and has good physical stature. He will also improve and develop with age."