Stephen Ireland is expected to join Newcastle United on loan today, and will be Newcastle’s second acquisition in the January transfer window, following the permanent signing of Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa.
Stephen Ireland – only arrival today
The 24-year-old Ireland midfielder had a medical on Tyneside last night, and the paperwork is being worked on today, and the announcement could come any time today on the Newcastle web-site.
We think Stephen will be a welcome addition to the Newcastle club.
If you had asked anybody about Ireland a short 18 months ago, they would have said he’s one of the best central midfield players in the Premier League, and they’d have been right about that.
But he’s had a difficult time of things since then, after being pushed onto the sidelines at both Manchester City and Aston Villa, by managers who didn’t rate him, and we think he will be given every chance at Newcastle to shine again.
You have to remember that great players like Stephen don’t become ordinary players overnight.
And while there are signs that he may be a difficult player to handle, Newcastle have had lots of experience in handling these types of players over the last few years, with some success. Don’t worry we’ll get Joey, his former team-mate, to straighten him out.
Newcastle will get Ireland in on loan through the end of the season, and the club are also trying to bring Sebastian Larsson to Tyneside on a £1M deal, before his contract runs out at Birmingham in the summer.
But we think Seb wants to see out his contract at Birmingham, and whether Newcastle can secure him to a pre-contract agreement before the summer, is a good question.
If they can, then they will get Larsson in the summer for nothing.
Xisco is likely to be moved out on loan to Deportivo, and we hope the 24 year-old can get some games there and play well too.
If he can do that Newcastle will try to unload him permanently to his former club in the summer, but Xisco will try to stay on Tyneside and pick up his 50K/week wages for the remaining 30 months of his contract.
And while Newcastle are trying to bring in goalkeeper Kieren Westwood from Coventry we think the Midlands club will turn down Newcastle’s £500K. bid today, and the club will then try to sign the former Carlisle goalkeeper on a free transfer in the summer.
If that happens, expect either Tim Krul of Fraser Forster to be sold in the summer.
We only expect Ireland to be coming through the doors today, and that will be a little disappointing to most Newcastle fans, but we are also open to some surprises – on the positive side of course.