Sport Soccer

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Stephen Ireland eyes international return

Marc Wilson, Republic of Ireland
Marc Wilson, Republic of Ireland
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

STOKE defender Marc Wilson says that the club's Irish contingent has spoken to Stephen Ireland about an international return and believe it is likely to happen.

The midfielder signed a new three-year contract with Stoke yesterday, a reward for his performances after initially arriving on a short-term deal from Aston Villa. Ireland has already spoken to Martin O'Neill about the prospect of ending his six-and-a-half-year exile from the international sphere and the Derry native watched the Cobh man again in his the Premier League win over Newcastle last Saturday.

Wilson would welcome a comeback for the 27-year-old and suggested that the issue has been raised in discussion with the other Irishmen at the club, Jonathan Walters and Glenn Whelan. "We've asked him if he's thinking of coming back and I think he will if he got the chance to play," said Wilson. "It would a good thing for our Ireland team if he was to come back because I know he could add something.

"Stevie is type of player to unlock a door with a good pass. He can do something to win you a game. In the last campaign, Austria had that with David Alaba. He made the difference."

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