It took several months, an injury setback, and even some fleeting interest from Aberdeen, but Phil Parkinson landed a signing he seemingly wanted all summer. It took him until October 9th.
Stephen Ireland will make his first foray into the Championship, having played his entire senior club career so far for a number of Premier League clubs.
The start of his career saw him as some sort of prospect. He actually made his competitive debut against us for Man City in 2005, and in the second half of the last decade was a key player for City. But as the money came there, and Roberto Mancini replaced Mark Hughes, and saw himself fall out of favour. While there, he was involved with a controversial incident, getting off international duty by claiming his gran died, then his other one, then a grandfather’s second wife. Eventually, he gave up the ghost. That was in 2007, a few months later celebrating a goal by unveiling some Superman pants, earning him that moniker amongst City fans.
He then went to Villa, where he rarely got a run of games as their fortunes declined. He joined Stoke in 2013, but injuries there blighted his spell in the Potteries.
Now 32, Ireland will play in the second tier for the first time. He was a talented youngster, but that was 10 years ago now. He’s got some attacking traits which could help us out in midfield, but he’ll need to stay fit first.