John-Joe O'Toole has signed for League One promotion hopefuls Colchester on a permanent basis from Watford.
The 21-year-old midfielder initially joined the Us on a short-term deal on 1st September.
He has since become an integral part of Aidy Boothroyd's first-team plans at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, making 19 appearances.
O'Toole was only too happy to prolong his association with the ambitious third tier outfit and has penned a contract which will keep him at Colchester until 2012.
He joins fellow loan star Kayode Odejayi in committing his long-term future to the club.
"He has been brilliant since he has been here and I was always keen to sign him permanently," Boothroyd told the club's official website.
"We have got two great signings at the club for the start of January and I am delighted."
Boothroyd is also hoping that he will be able to keep the core of his squad together during the winter transfer window, helping to aid a sustained promotion push in the second half of the season.
"If we can be successful and keep winning then we will keep players," he added.
"It's all about timing - I haven't come here to be an Arthur Daley type, selling players all the time.
"I've come here to win. With the players we've got, I think we stand a good chance of sustaining success and we have out targets to help strengthen the squad.
"I don't want to sell players that have done well, and I want to keep everyone together and push on."