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