Robbie Keane’s impressive form in Tottenham Hotspur’s pre-season friendly tournament in the United States has really given Harry Redknapp something to chew over. Robbie Keane picked up the player of the tournament after scoring two goals in the competition.
A fact that led to Harry Redknapp stating in an interview with Sky Sports News that “He’s here so there’s every chance that he will be in the team. He’s a top player.”
Another factor that may persuade Redknapp to stick with Robbie Keane this season was the strikers predatory form in the SPL last season. Sent on loan to Celtic at the beginning of February, the Irishman scored 16 goals in just 19 appearances, picking up the Celtic Fans’ Player of the Year award in the process. The fact that he was only at Celtic for a relatively small period of time makes this all the more remarkable. With four quality strikers on his hands and seemingly wanting to target another, Redknapp will have a selection headache ahead of himself in the coming season.
Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe firmly established themselves as Spurs’ first choice strike pairing last season, creating a forward line in the classic ‘Big Man, Little Man’ mould. With Roman Pavlyuchenko also performing well towards the end of last season, competition for a starting berth up front will be fierce; especially if Harry Redknapp decides to bring in another striker. Tottenham have already been linked with moves for Real Madrid’s Raul and Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano. This could well spur Robbie Keane on however, and at 30 years-of-age, he will be desperate to play regular first team football and establish himself as a first choice striker at White Hart Lane. If Keane produces the goals everyone knows he can, then Harry Redknapp will have a real selection issue, but one he will be more than happy to have.
If another striker is signed by Tottenham during the close season, one would have to assume that it would mean the exit door for another, and this would most likely be Robbie Keane or Roman Pavlyuchenko. Neither of these players would have any shortage of suitors should Spurs decide their services are no longer required, and the prospective transfer fee for either player would help Spurs financially should they sign another striker. Keane’s pre-season form and performances at Celtic last season though, may well have seen him push ahead of the Russian in the Tottenham pecking order and Harry Redknapp’s mind. Given the quality of strikers available to him however, Redknapp may deem it unnecessary to bring in another forward, and may look to other areas of the team to strengthen. If that is the case Spurs will still have an attacking threat to be reckoned with as they look to challenge in Europe and the Premiership. All of Tottenham’s forwards will be looking to make a big impact, but if Robbie Keane manages to reproduce his pre-season form, then he will have a big part to play in the forthcoming season.