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Joey Barton calls on Glenn Whelan to aid League One promotion bid

The veteran Republic of Ireland midfielder has joined Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.

Glenn Whlean will be with Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.
Glenn Whlean will be with Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.

FLEETWOOD TOWN HAVE announced the signing of Republic of Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan on a short-term deal.

The 36-year-old, who had been a free agent since his departure from Hearts earlier this month, has committed to Fleetwood until the end of the season.

Whelan will wear the number 12 shirt during his time at Highbury.

The move will provide Whelan with the opportunity to get the game-time he’ll need to stay in contention for Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off away to Slovakia on 26 March.

He will also look to boost his new club’s bid for promotion from League One. Fleetwood currently sit in 11th place, four points adrift of a play-off spot.

The Lancashire outfit are managed by Joey Barton, with whom Whelan was on the books at Manchester City during the early stages of his professional career.

“When the opportunity arose to bring someone of Glenn’s experience in to our squad, we moved quickly to get the deal done,” said Barton following the announcement.

Glenn is hungry to play and we’re sure that he will bring the qualities that everyone knows he is capable of into our group.

“We lost some experience in this window with Peter Clarke leaving to join Tranmere, so to bring someone in like Glenn who has been the captain of his country, is really important for our squad.

“This is an exciting signing for the club, and we look forward to seeing him in action.”

Having been released by Aston Villa following their promotion to the Premier League last season, Whelan moved to Scotland to join Hearts in August.

He made 17 appearances for the Edinburgh club before a somewhat acrimonious departure. New manager Daniel Stendel has overseen a clear-out of players from Tynecastle, with Hearts languishing at the foot of the Scottish Premiership.

Whelan has featured prominently during Mick McCarthy’s second tenure as Ireland manager, the Dubliner taking his tally of senior caps to 91 by playing in six of the Boys in Green’s eight Group D games in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Fleetwood, whose leading goalscorer is Irish striker Paddy Madden, resume their League One campaign away to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

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Paul Dollery

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