There is no question that the last two years have been interesting for Robbie Keane. Securing a dream move to his beloved Liverpool while at the height of his powers seemed like an ideal move for all concerned – Spurs received a hefty transfer fee, Keane would get another chance to prove himself at the highest level and Liverpool could finally be classed an genuine title contenders. For numerous reasons though events never quite matched the script and less than six months later Keane returned to Tottenham amidst a blaze of publicity. Yet, one year later during a poor spell of form he was loaned out to another of his boyhood teams, Celtic, where he seemed to find his feet – literally. He scored twelve goals and bagged the Celtic fans’ player of the year, despite only playing sixteen games. With the loan deal expired, Keane returned to Spurs in May and stated he was happy to return and fight for his place, but what does the future hold for Robbie Keane?
Since his move to Liverpool Keane’s career had become stagnant, both in terms of goals and form. But seeing him at Celtic Park reminded many of the young, hungry striker he was when he started his career at Wolves. Undoubtedly he is still worthy of a place in many top flight teams and while he seems to have been around for an age, he is still only 29 and his predatory instincts cannot be questioned both at club and international level.
One thing that has served Harry Redknapp well during his time at Tottenham is his willingness to give players second chances. Assou Ekotto, Bale, Bentley and Pavlyuchenko all seemed like they were heading for the door at White Hart Lane prior to last season, but have each done a vital job since Christmas in getting Spurs to fourth. In one season Keane has gone from vice-captain to being deemed so out of form that he had no place in the squad, so arguably he is due a Redknapp renaissance. Harry will be well aware that a squad deep in numbers and quality will be essential as the team fights on 4 fronts so Keane could well be kept among his striking reinforcements. But as ever, his future is the subject of the sports pages, with Celtic, Everton, Aston Villa and a romantic return to his first team Wolves among his list of potential suitors. But with Celtic having financial restraints and his salary is too much for the Wolves wage structure, these moves perhaps look a little unlikely.
What other people want for him though is unlikely to be the end of the Robbie Keane story. As mentioned, Keane is only 29, so arguably still has a good 4 or 5 years left in him, so with Redknapp adopting an either/or approach with him and Jermaine Defoe as his ‘small’ striker last season, Keane could be facing an unappealing season warming the bench. Becoming a bit part player for Spurs after his superstar spell at Celtic won’t sit well with a man who loves to play football, and while he’s not the kind of player to moan to the press or demand a transfer, I wouldn’t expect him to be a Spurs player next year if he is not playing.
One thing though seems to be certain, and that’s that the turbulent career of Robbie Keane, which has seen him score 157 club goals, play for 7 teams and amass over 50 million pounds in transfer fees is far from over, where ever he may end up.
Written By Karl Sears