Robbie Keane has arguably been the Republic of Ireland’s best player over the last decade. Keane has been an ever present member of a constantly changing Ireland side. He has even out lasted a lot of managers during his international tenure. His club career has been a bit more unpredictable, however.
Robert ‘Robbie’ Keane started out his professional career with Wolverhampton Wanderers who were playing their football in the English second tier. After just two years, Robbie was transferred to Coventry City for £6 million, a British transfer record for a player at the time. Just a year later, Robbie found himself moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world, Inter Milan for £13 million. This move didn’t go as well as thought though, as Marcello Lippi, the manager who signed him, was sacked, Keane was ultimately deemed surplus to requirements at one of the world’s most successful teams. Keane then moved back to England to Leeds United. He was subsequently sold soon after, as Leeds fell into dire financial trouble. He was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur. This turned out to be the most successful time of his career. He was a regular starter and was always amongst the goals.
Keane was still doing very well for the London club and had formed an excellent partnership with Dimitar Berbatov. Liverpool, though, wanted to sign the prolific Irish man, and there was no way that he could refuse the team which he supported as a boy. Keane was purchased by Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool for £19 million. This spell was largely unsuccessful. Keane was regularly awarded a first team place, but failed to form a prolific partnership with the in-form Fernando Torres. Keane scored only five league goals, which averaged out at nearly one every four league games. Due to this, he was sold back to Tottenham Hotspur, this time for £12 million, a lot less than what Liverpool played for the front man six months previous. His time there was marginally more successful than in Merseyside, but he was too far down the pecking order. Since then, Keane has gone on successful loan spells to Celtic, West Ham and Aston Villa. He currently plays in the MLS for L.A Galaxy.
Although Robbie Keane was unfortunate that his transfer to Liverpool didn’t go as planned, it was evident that he was still an extremely good striker. The problem was, similar to his period at Inter Milan, that he just failed to gel properly and the big move broke down. Keane was skilful enough to bounce back both times and has gone on to have a very lucrative career, at both club level and international level.
Michael McKenna, Pundit Arena.
Featured Image By Noah Salzman (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.