Canada international squad member Harry Paton officially parts with Ross County as a free agent after rejecting the offer of a new deal in Dingwall
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Harry Paton has left Ross County in search of a new club after rejecting the offer to extend his four-year stay in Dingwall.
The Canadian midfielder, who earned his first senior international squad call-up in July last year, privately indicated his desire to as far back as December.
Manager Malky Mackay kept faith in the 24 year-old former Hearts and Fulham youth during the chase for a top six finish and European places, with matches played to the end of the season bringing his appearances tally to 102, with four goals scored.
After four seasons with the Staggies, Paton is now a free agent and keen to press his international claims ahead of Canada's World Cup finals appearance in Qatar.
Mackay revealed: “Harry’s now out of contract and no longer with the club.
“He wanted to look elsewhere. We first had the conversation in December, and I offered him a contract.
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“He felt it was better for himself to get to the end of the season and look for a fresh challenge, which is fine.
“As we all saw, it didn’t stop me playing him.
“He was out injured for a wee period of time, but even in our very last game of the campaign he was involved.
“He was someone who gave his all for the club whenever he played. There was never a point where I felt he was looking after himself and that I should take him out of the team.
“Right up to the last day, he showed a great attitude at the football club, having been a good addition to the squad when he signed from Hearts.
“That’s been proven over a number of years and I just wish him all the best wherever his career takes him next.”
Paton leaves, but County’s Canadian connection remains strong.
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Promising 21-year-old midfielder Victor Loturi has joined from Canadian side Cavalry FC, while Paton’s brother Ben remains under contract.
County also paraded ex-West Brom left-back George Harmon (21), from Oxford City, yesterday alongside ex-Swansea attacker Yan Dhanda (23).
Mackay said: “I’m delighted to get these players in. It’s a minor rebuild.
“Nine players have left the club, so we have got to make sure we replace them just to get back to the small squad we had last year.
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“I would like to get another couple in on top of that which may allow our youngsters to get in and play regular football.
“There is a lot of work ahead and there has been a lot of work gone into the last few months.”