As you may have guessed from the rather tenuous headline and photo, this article is concerning Stephen Ireland and the intesifying speculation that the deal is pretty much done.
Large buckets of salt are needed as nothing is ever official until the club have announced anything, but that dude on Twitter seems pretty adamant that the deal is done. Combine that with the fact that nufc.com are reporting it and it would certainly strengthen the case. Niall and Biffa aren’t generally the types to peddle unsubstantiated rumours.
Still, it gives us another chance to debate the merits of potentially signing the 24-year-old. Much depends on which Stephen Ireland we get to be fair. If we get the one that won their Player of the Season award a couple of years back then it could be a good move. If we get the one that has looked a shadow of the aforementioned player then it will be a bad move. It’s as simple as that really.
The main issue I have is that he doesn’t play in a position where we are lacking. If I recall correctly, Ireland is an attacking midfielder, like Kevin Nolan but a little bit more…….. svelte. Is he any better than Nolan? With Big Kev in the form he is in at the moment I don’t think he is.
It’s out wide where we are struggling in my opinion, especially now Routledge has gone. Pardew may have seen fit to lambast the lad yesterday, but surely he would have been better than nobody out wide? That is where we are at the moment. Our options on the right wing are restricted to Joey Barton – a central midfielder – being forced to play wide, although he is doing a cracking job at it to be fair. That is about it.
If Ireland signs I hope he uses this move as a springboard to relaunch his career, but I will be wondering just how he will fit in with the team we have currently. With the wages he will be on I would assume he is being brought here to play in the first team, so it will be interesting to see how he will be employed in the team
With the rumour mill suggesting a deal could be imminent pending the arrival of Michael Bradley at Aston Villa, where do you think Ireland will fit in the team? Will he even turn up at Newcastle?
As ever, your thoughts please. « Harry’s up to his old tricks again. | Is it time to do away with the January transfer window? »