After the announcement last November that Irish goalscoring legend Robbie Keane would be leaving Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the previous Major League Soccer season in December, perhaps the initial thought process for Keane would be to decide on hanging up his boots on an outstanding career.
Not a chance!
The former Republic of Ireland striker hit 68 international goals in 146 games, and is the only player in the history of world football to have scored at least one international goal in 19 consecutive years.
In a club career that has seen the popular Irishman play for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur (twice), Celtic, West Ham, LA Galaxy and Aston Villa, Keane has been one of the most successful forwards in the last twenty years.
Keane who turns 37 in July, still believes he has the legs to continue his playing days – and with several suitors chasing his signature ahead of the new season, here we will look at some possible destinations for the veteran forward.
Now that the ink has dried on Harry Redknapp’s one year deal to continue his tenure as manager at Birmingham City, the popular boss is looking to bolster his striking options in an attempt to pull away from the rest of the Championship relegation candidates.
Redknapp and Keane worked together with great effect in their days at Tottenham Hotspur, after the manager resigned the striker back in 2009.
Birmingham’s new owners Trillion Trophy Asia have promised Redknapp funds in the summer transfer window to improve his squad, and with the possibility of acquiring the talents and experience of Robbie Keane, Birmingham could be looking at making a strong push for promotion next season.
From a results perspective, very little can be improved upon by Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic team this season, who have swept all before them in Scottish Football.
However, plans will already be in place for a crack at improving Celtic’s performance in Europe for next season and a move for the hugely experienced Keane could help catalyst the Hoops amongst the knockout stages of top level European football once again.
Keane had a very successful loan spell back in 2010 for Celtic that yielded 12 goals in 16 appearances, and boss Rodgers may feel that bringing in the experienced striker back for one last hurrah could rub off on the younger players within the squad.
Since Keane has left LA Galaxy, it has been widely reported that he has been warm weather training in Dubai with UAE outfit, Al-Ahli.
Keane has suggested that he sees the next move in his career in Britain, but things can change in football.
Al-Ahli has several positives – namely the weather and a likely lucrative contract on the table for Keane, should he wish to move to the Middle East.
Former Sunderland striker, Asamoah Gyan still plays with the Dubai side, but it must be said that it remains a long-shot for Keane to join up.
If no suitable offers arrive from England or abroad this summer, Keane could opt to end his playing days back in his native Ireland with Shamrock Rovers.
The most decorated club in the Republic would surely love to be able to tempt one of their prodigal sons back for his final days as a player.
Currently languishing in mid-table, a signing of Keane’s stature would be a huge boost for the club.
Born in Dublin, Keane has also reportedly trained with Rovers in the recent past to maintain his fitness ahead of a potential move.
Written by Matthew Harris
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