Celtic boss, Neil Lennon, is eager to add to his squad by going to the Second City and bringing in both Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland from Villa Park to Parkhead on loan.
Stephen Ireland has been simply awful since his switch from Eastlands, so much so that he quite rightly won ‘worst signing of 2010’ in my awards (see awards piece) alongside James Milner.
However, a change of scenery, particularly with the drop of intensity that playing in the SPL will provide (Rangers games aside), might reignite Ireland’s performances to somewhere near the level he was producing when he first broke into the Manchester City team.
Celtic are by far favourites to pick up the Cobh born midfielder, with very few teams going to go anywhere near attempting to sign a player whose price will be extremely inflated by the fact he still has 3 and a half years left on his contract. This is especially true when you consider the games (or lack of them rather) that Ireland has played.
Meanwhile, 31-year old Richard Dunne has seen himself dropped behind Houllier’s first choice pairing of James Collins and Carlos Cuellar as well as youngster Ciaran Clark. As a result, Dunne will be desperate to leave Villa to get first team football to retain his place in the Irish National Squad, let alone the first XI.
Therefore, a short-term move to help resurrect the form that saw him end up in the PFA ‘Team of the Season’ just last summer would be perfect for Dunne.
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