Stoke City chief Tony Scholes has welcomed their deal for Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.

Ireland joins on a season-long loan from Aston Villa.

Scholes said: "Stephen is a player that Mark knows really well and when the opportunity arose he was keen to add him to his midfield and attacking options.

"Arguably the most successful period of Stephen's career to date was when he played for Mark at Manchester City and we hope that he can rediscover that form."

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