Glenn Whelan has completed his move to League One's Fleetwood Town, joining a side who have promotion ambitions over the second half of the season.
While Joey Barton's side currently sit in 11th place in the division, they are only four points off the promotion places and with games in hand. Whelan's experience will be vital over the coming months, while the player himself has his own international ambitions.
The midfielder will likely having to be playing regular football in order to maintain his place in the team ahead of the play-off against Slovakia in March. Speaking to the Fleetwood Town website, he said this was one of the motivations behind this move.
— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) January 24, 2020
When I spoke to the manager, he still has ambitions to try and achieve something this season.
If I'm not playing, and I'm not playing well, then I've no chance internationally.
Even though [the Slovakia play-off] is in March, it's about staying fit and healthy and please God getting a few results to keep myself in contention.
Whelan is facing competition from the likes of James McCarthy and Jayson Molumby for a spot in midfield, two players who have made major strides in recent times.
However, Mick McCarthy has shown that he trusts the former Stoke man to perform in the highest pressure situations.
His new manager is equally optimistic about the impact he can have, with Barton saying:
When the opportunity arose to bring someone of Glenn's experience in to our squad, we moved quickly to get the deal done.
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.