With all the talk surrounding the James Milner bid, City’s Stephen Ireland seems to be Eastlands forgotten man. Is it worth forking out over £20m for another midfielder and allow Ireland to leave or should Mancini give the Irishman a chance in City’s engine room?
Ireland didn’t have a particularly impressive 2009/10 campaign, which is in stark comparison to the previous season when he was voted the supporters player of the year. This was probably down to the fact he only started 16 of the 22 games played.
City manager Roberto Mancini has already stated that Ireland needs to ‘sort his head out’ but believes he can be a good player and reach the standards Ireland set during the 2008/09 campaign.
The 2008/09 season was by far his most successful and it is clear form the stats below that Ireland had an edge to him, judging by the amount of fouls committed and cards received, and it is that kind of player that City need in the middle of the park.
Milner had an impressive season at Villa, managing 7 goals from 36 games played during the 2009/10 season. Last season, Milner started all 36 games with Villa winning 16 and was his most successful season to date and Milner in the centre of City’s midfield would provide some aggression and creativity.
If Mancini feels Ireland can be a great player, surely he should give the midfielder an opportunity to prove his worth. It would of course, mean missing out on one of the country’s hottest prospects in Milner but if Villa are going to hold the club to ransom over Milner’s fee, why not save a few bob and give Ireland the chance he deserves?
What do you think? Should Mancini give Ireland the opportunity or should he sign Milner as well?
Stats courtesy of www.premierleague.com
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