Stephen Ireland has been a player of Stoke City since September of 2013 but his time in the Premier League club might be reaching it’s end as the experienced midfielder is struggling with injuries and is being rumored with an exit from Stoke City.
The 29 year old midfielder has not played a single match for Stoke City since October of 2015 but he might just make a return to the main squad of Mark Hughes’ team when the Premier League re-starts in January.
The main problem that Stephen Ireland is experiencing is actually not the recent injuries that he has been picking up; it’s the lack of first team playing time that Ireland is getting in the Premier League club.
Ireland’s contract with Stoke City is set to expire in 2017 but taking into consideration how much he has fallen down in the pecking order of Mark Hughes and the attention that he has been getting from other clubs, especially from his former sides Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
Bojan Krkic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic have turned into the main attacking options in the midfield of Stoke City while Jon Walters and Ibrahim Afellay are the substitute alternatives for Mark Hughes which makes things very difficult for Stephen Ireland to secure consistent playing time with all these players who are also working hard to play an important role in the team.
Newcastle United and Aston Villa are the main clubs which have been linked with a move to Stephen Ireland and even if it’s only rumors, making a move away from Stoke City might just be the best option for the Irish player as he isn’t playing an important role in the team of Mark Hughes and making a return to one of his former clubs could see him getting more time in the pitch and having a more important function which is not likely to occur with Stoke City anytime soon.