Robbie Keane – An important signing for Villa

by Edward Watson

Thursday, January 12th, 2012
 

So, it’s that time of the year again when the MLS superstars come back to the Europe. Last season there was talk of Thierry Henry and David Beckham returning to the Premier League but nothing came of it. As for this season, what a treat we have been given!

This blog was originally going to compare who would have the bigger impact between Robbie Keane and Henry during their two months back, but after Monday night’s performance from the latter I don’t think there’s really much of an argument.

I do think that Keane will be a top signing for Villa though:

Firstly, the club’s been calling out for another striker all season – and no, Heskey is still not the answer! The 4-5-1 formation that Alex McLeish has insisted on playing all season isn’t all that effective. Okay, he’s had a few good results – with the away win at Chelsea being the obvious highlight – but it certainly hasn’t been a particularly enjoyable season for Villa fans and it’s about time they played some attacking football.

Despite his age Keane is still a natural goal scorer and he’s proved this time and time again. I remember watching him when he was a youngster at Wolves (and I was even more of a youngster) and thinking to myself what a quality player he was back then. Even in his unsuccessful spells at Inter Milan and Liverpool he still managed to find the net.

He could – and this is an unlikely could from the years I’ve been waiting for him to do something – even kick Nathan Delfouneso into gear. It’s clear McLeish doesn’t have faith in the youngster to stand in for the injured Emile Heskey – not that he makes much of an impact himself nowadays – and it’s about time he began to shine with the potentially he clearly has.

Darren Bent will be key for Villa as well. Keane and Bent played with each other at Spurs for a season and a half – over Keane’s two spells there – and this experience they have with each other could prove invaluable. They both know each other’s game and during their season and a half together scored 39 goals between them. If they can replicate form anything near that it could propel Villa up a tight table.

Of course, the Villa midfield isn’t quite the Spurs midfield of back then, nor is it quite the Villa midfield of last season. It’s a young side and the strikers have found supply difficult this season. Whether that’s due to tactics or players I don’t know. I suspect a bit of both.

There are some promising young players in the side; Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan have both shown touches of class but there are also players like Chris Herd and Ciaran Clark who haven’t cut the grade in the Premiership so far.

On top of that Stephen Ireland’s form has been sporadic at best and Charles N’Zogbia has been worth a fraction of his £9.5million transfer fee.

Can Keane really make a difference then? He ticks the boxes as far criteria goes in my eyes. Maybe it’s just because he scored twice in the first Wolves game I ever went to that I’ve admired him for over a decade now, but I do believe, putting any bias to one side that he can make a difference for Villa over the next two months and may even be the signing that wins over the fans for Alex McLeish – okay that’s pushing it a bit!

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  • Scott

    Good signing, really?? As a West Ham fan I can tell you that Robbie Keane went to the MLS for good reason, he simply can’t cut it any more as a Premier League striker. It is a cheap and desperate signing, just like it was for us this time last year. On second thoughts it wasn’t a cheap signing for West Ham considering we coughed up all of his wages!

  • Muffin

    I think that hoping Keane can ‘even kick Nathan Delfouneso into gear’, might just be wishful thinking.

    Young Nathan certainly possesses natural talent and ability in abundance, but he seems to completely lack heart.

    You cant help but believe that Nathan is fast approaching the crossroads of his Villa Park career. He needs to step up to the plate, contribute and deliver, or he may well find that a career in the lower league’s beckons.

    As for Robbie Keane, if he can help put some very much needed points on the board before he heads back across the Atlantic, then his brief VP stay will no doubt be viewed as a successful piece of business by McLeish.

    With Lerner seemingly unwilling to make cash available to improve the squad, the Keane loan signing is pretty much the only type of deal we can expect.

    The club is standing still, stagnating, and that state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue.

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