French midfielder Bastien Hery has moved to Linfield with Republic of Ireland underage striker Michael O'Connor moving in the opposite direction to join Waterford on loan.
Former PSG youngster Hery joins the Danske Bank Premiership for an 'undisclosed' fee after 18-months at the RSC.
He says the opportunity to play in Europe was a major factor in his decision to move north of the border.
“I’ve loved being part of the club for the past 18 months. It’s been a great experience and a huge part of my career to play for Waterford FC. The club, the fans and the town have made me feel so welcome from day one. Being so far from home I can never thank you all enough.
“Linfield is something different for me and playing in the Champions League is an exciting opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.
“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone; from the coaches, to the staff, to my team mates this season and last who have been like my family, and the fans who have spurred the entire team on. Last but by no means least, I’d like to give a big shout to Michael the Kitman.”
Manager Alan Reynolds feels Hery's departure is a direct result of them losing their European qualification place.
“Losing out on the European place has hit us hard and there’s no point saying otherwise. There is a fallout from that and the club has had to make really tough decisions to offset that.
“The opportunity came up for Bastien, he really wanted to play in Europe and felt it was right for both parties that he got his opportunity.
“Bastien has been great for us since he came to the club 18 months ago. On and off the pitch he’s been a really good guy and we wish him well.
“He’s been a character around the place but this is a great opportunity for him to play in the Champions League and we all wish him every success in the future.”
O'Connor, who has netted 12 times for Linfield this term and trained with the Ireland under-21 squad, boosts the Blues striker options after the departure of Ismahil Akinade.
The 20-year-old is hoping to make an impression in the League of Ireland.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be here, it’s a different challenge for me and I just can’t wait to get going. I know some of the lads already from being in with the Irish U21s and being around the league before. There’s been a really good intensity to training so I’m looking forward to Saturday now.
“The fans will see a hard worker, I’ll give everything I can for the club and I’m going to try score as many goals for the club as I can.
“I’ve been really impressed with the everything since I’ve come in, they facilities are really good and the pitch is excellent. I spoke to Rennie and I like the way he wants his teams to play so I just can’t wait to get on the pitch.”