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Stoke City FC Player Profiles

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UPDATED 09:59 30th September 2016

THE talented Stephen Ireland is continuing his rehabilitation back from a broken leg as he looks to make a return to first-team football in the New Year.

A free transfer capture from Aston Villa in January 2014, the former Manchester City ace was once touted as the top-flight's hottest young talent.

He was a key performer for Mark Hughes during their time together at the Etihad Stadium, and when the chance to reacquaint himself with the midfielder arose, Hughes wasted no time in concluding a deal.

He has displayed moments of magic on the field for the Potters, with his match-changing appearance from the bench at White Hart Lane last season proof of his capabilities on the field.

Whilst he has yet to really establish himself as a regular starter, the Irish international, who has four goals to his name in just six appearances for his country, will be eager to press for a role in the matchday 11 in 2017.