Stoke City signs Aston Villa midfielder Ireland on season-long loan

The Potters have landed the services of the Ex-Manchester City playmaker on a temporary basis, with the player linking up at the Britannia with old boss Mark Hughes.
Stoke City has signed Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland on loan for the rest of the 2013-14 Premier League season.

The 27-year-old is reunited at the Britannia Stadium with Mark Hughes, who previously managed the midfielder at Manchester City and under whom the Irishman was awarded with City's Player of the Year award after the 2008-09 campaign.

The playmaker has since enjoyed spells at Aston Villa and on loan with Newcastle United, but he has been unable to find any real consistency in form and fitness since departing Eastlands in summer 2010.

“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," Stoke CEO Tony Scholes told the club'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.”

Stoke does not expect to wrap up any more deals before the summer transfer window closes, announcing via the club's official Twitter account that, "the Club do not anticipate making any further additions to the squad before the 11pm deadline."