Not so long ago, Stephen Ireland was one of the most promising young prospects around. However, the arrival of Roberto Mancini and so many big-money moves made Ireland surplus to requirements at Manchester City.
The Irishman moved to Aston Villa over the summer, and his career was expected to flourish once more. Yet despite new boss Gerard Houllier professing to be one Ireland’s greatest admirers, the midfielder has only started 5 Premier League games this season, and his progression seems to have stalled once again.
However, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is apparently willing to offer Ireland a lifeline, with reports suggesting a bid of £8m could be in the offing, and it is difficult to see Ireland turning down the chance to resurrect his career playing alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard.
Yet £8m for a player who has not had a decent run in any first team for well over a year now would surely be a gamble, and Ireland would certainly have to hit the ground running in order to repay Hodgson’s faith.
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