Ireland came through the system at Manchester City, but confesses being a boyhood United fan.
âI was a United fan when I was growing up as it was in my family,â Ireland told the Birmingham Mail. âIt was time they were at their best with players like Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.
âSevenâs always been my number. As a kid I was a big fan of Cantona and thatâs what he wore so I wanted it too.
âAs it became available at Villa, I wanted to take it.
âIt was easy to follow a team who kept winning and playing attractive football.â