herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Clark and Stevens poised to depart Villa on loan deals

ASTON Villa are poised to send Ireland international Ciarán Clark out on loan, with former U21 cap Enda Stevens also likely to leave the club in a loan deal.

Clark, 24, has not yet made an appearance for Villa this season and the player fears that his lack of game time at club level is damaging his international chances - Clark was not in the Ireland squad for the recent games against Oman and Georgia, he was only on standby.

Last season he made 27 Premier League appearances for Villa and also made headway with Ireland, earning a start under Noel King in the World Cup qualifier away to Germany.

But a rash of summer signings at Villa has pushed Clark down the pecking order and the player may seek a short-term loan spell as Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore are all ahead of him in the pecking order at Villa.

Clark, 24, has been at Villa since he was a teenager and has only ever played for one club, making over 100 first team appearances for the Birmingham outfit.

Clark has won 10 senior caps, playing for the first time against Wales in 2011 and then making his competitive debut away to Sweden in 2012.

But he has managed just one appearance for Ireland since Martin O'Neill took charge, as a sub at home to Serbia earlier this year, and while he made it into the provisional squad for the Oman/Georgia double header he was axed from the final panel and didn't travel.

Former Shamrock Rovers man Stevens (pictured, left), also 24, is in the last year of his contract at Villa Park but he also needs to move away to further his career.

His only exposure to first team football last season came during loan spells with Notts County and Doncaster Rovers, and his last appearance for Villa was way back in January 2013.

Stevens joined Villa from Rovers in January 2012 and made his Premier League debut for the club in November 2012, but he has failed to convince boss Paul Lambert and has not featured recently.

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