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Ireland seals Stoke loan deal

Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland has completed a season-long loan move to Premier League rivals Stoke City.

Last Updated: 02/09/13 at 18:25 Post Comment

Stephen Ireland: Loan move to the Britannia Stadium

Stephen Ireland: Loan move to the Britannia Stadium

Ireland has been a fringe player at Villa Park, making his last appearance for the club back in January.

But he has been given the chance to resurrect his career as he becomes Stoke's second transfer deadline day signing, after Austria forward Marko Arnautovic arrived from Werder Bremen.

Ireland will now join up with Stoke boss Mark Hughes for the second time in his career after playing under him at Manchester City.

"Stephen is a player that Mark knows really well and, when the opportunity arose, he was keen to add him to his midfield and attacking options," chief executive Tony Scholes told Stoke's official website.

"Arguably the most successful period of Stephen's career to date was when he played for Mark at Manchester City and we hope that he can rediscover that form."

The Republic of Ireland international made more than 140 league appearances for City before joining Villa in August 2010 in a part-exchange deal that saw James Milner move to the Etihad Stadium.

Ireland has since made 45 Premier League appearances for Villa and was also loaned out to Newcastle for a brief spell in 2011.

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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