Stephen Ireland

By Dan King

Stephen Ireland has joined Newcastle United in a loan move until the end of the season.

The 24-year-old Irish international arrives from Aston Villa, who he joined in the close-season from Manchester City.

Midfielder Ireland was voted City's player of the year two seasons ago but has been unfortunate with injury at Villa Park.

He made his debut for The Villans at St. James' Park in August, as United ran out 6-0 winners, but has not played in the league since the turn of the year.

But Magpies manager Alan Pardew believes the temporary move will allow him to rediscover his form.

Pardew said: "Stephen has shown over the past few seasons that he's a real top player so we're really pleased to have got him until the end of the season.

"As a creative midfielder he can create chances for others and score goals himself, and we think he can be a big factor for us in the second part of this season.

"I think Stephen feels he can deliver more than he's shown at Villa so far, so he's got a point to prove and I believe we can reap the benefits of that."