Stephen Ireland signed for Bolton at the start of October but hasn’t seen any first team football since arriving.
The former Manchester City player had spent his whole career at Premier League level after making his debut in 2005.
But being released by Stoke in the summer forces him into the Championship for the first time in his career.
However, since signing for Bolton, things haven’t picked up for the midfielder.
The most obvious reason for this would be Ireland’s terrible luck with injuries over the past few seasons. This includes a double leg fracture that caused the Republic of Ireland international to miss the entire 2016/17 campaign. Alternatively, it could just be taking a while for him to return to match sharpness.
This still poses the question, why did Bolton sign Ireland if he’s potentially too injured to play?
Wanderers fans are all too familiar with serious injuries. In recent years, the club has seen the careers of two of its most promising talents, Mark Davies and Stuart Holden, cut short due to injury so will able to relate to the situation Ireland finds himself in now.
And while it’s a nice gesture from the club to take Stephen Ireland on a short-term deal, if he can’t fully recover from injury to play for Bolton, then he’ll be a wasted signing.
With the international break coming to an end this week, could Stephen Ireland finally make it into the squad against Millwall?