2 alternatives for Stephen Ireland who Aston Villa can target
As per reports, Aston Villa are lining up a shock move to bring Stephan Ireland back to the club. Ireland, 31, was released by Stoke City after they were relegated from the Premier League in May. The Cork-born player spent five years with the Potters and is available for free now.
Ireland represented Aston Villa between 2010 and 2014, signing eight years ago from Manchester City. But his career was blighted by several injuries, limiting the attacking midfielder to just 34 starts in three seasons at Villa Park before he departed for Stoke City.
Ireland has a fantastic football brain and would be one of the top footballers in the Championship if fit, but any deal for the 31-year-old will be a risk for Villa, considering his horrible injury record.
That being said, Villa should forget the pursuit of Ireland and consider other alternatives this summer.
Harry Wilson (Liverpool)
Aston Villa are in a mighty financial crunch after their play-off final loss to Fulham this past season. Due to the wobbly financial condition at the club, Steve Bruce has found it very tough to recruit players and should eye loan deals instead of signing players on a permanent basis.
In that case, Villa should consider signing Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson on a season-long loan. Interestingly, Villa have already joined a host of clubs for Wilson’s signature, who recently signed a contract extension with the Reds until 2023.
The Welsh star spent the second half of last season on loan at Hull City, scoring 7 goals in 13 Championship games. Fast, creative and a composed goalscorer, Wilson could be a fantastic addition for the cash-hit Aston Villa.
Kemar Roofe (Leeds United)
Roofe was one of the very few bright spots for Leeds United last season, having finished the 2017/18 campaign as the club’s top goalscorer with 14 goals in all competitions. Despite finishing as Leeds’ top scorer, Roofe may find first-team opportunities hard to come by under new manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Considering Roofe’s expected lack of game time, Villa must make a move to sign him on a season-long loan. The 25-year-old, who showed his versatility by playing in the No.10 role, as a winger and even as a centre-forward last term, could be an exciting addition for Steve Bruce’s side. Roofe is also a Championship-proven star which adds more value to his name.
It is next to impossible for Villa to sign Roofe permanently but a loan deal could be an option.