Stephen Ireland joins Stoke City on loan

Laurence Griffiths

Stephen Ireland will be reunited with Mark Hughes.

Stoke City have taken Stephen Ireland on a one-year loan from Aston Villathe Potters have confirmed. The move reunites the midfielder with Mark Hughes, who managed him at Manchester City.

Ireland was frozen out at Villa by Paul Lambert, bringing his stay at the club to a new low. His career his stalled since moving to Villa Park in 2010 and played just 13 times in the league last season. That number may have dipped even lower this season, making a move away from Birmingham almost a necessity for both the player and club.

Stoke is about as good of a landing spot as he could have hoped for. The midfielder had the best season of his career in 2008-09 under Hughes and winning a spot in the Stoke midfield won't be the toughest of tasks.

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