CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Robbie Keane #14 of the LA Galaxy during a training session ahead of the MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on November 19, 2011 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has agreed to send forward Robbie Keane to Aston Villa on loan ahead of the start of the 2012 MLS season. Robbie had been training with former club Tottenham Hotspur since January began, then started practicing with Villa at the beginning of this week in anticipation of this loan (some outlets had this backwards). He could make his debut Saturday, as Villa take on Everton and Landon Donovan.
"I’m delighted to be back in the Premier League," said Keane. "This is only short-term, of course, but there has been a lot of speculation over the years linking my name to Villa and, finally, I’m here. I’m excited about it and I know I’ll really enjoy my time here."
Both Everton and Villa are currently mid-table, with Everton 11th and Aston Villa 13th. Keane could play in as many as eight games for Villa before the International date at the end of February; when Ireland has a friendly against the Czech Republic, in Dublin. Keane will rejoin the Galaxy after that match.
"Villa is a great club, a club with a massive tradition and standing in the game and Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums I’ve ever played in. If selected to play on Saturday, I will genuinely be looking forward to it and I’ll be excited to be involved in Premier League action again."
Aston Villa's big acquisition last January transfer window was Darren Bent, a striker who was worth 32 goals in one and a half years with Sunderland. He was a record signing for Villa, financially, and has scored 15 goals in 32 appearances. He expressed happiness with the loan:
"He will help all the other strikers here but, more importantly, he will help Villa," said Bent. "He will bring experience which will aid a few of the younger lads who are breaking through into the team and the other youngsters in and around the place. And he will bring goals too, hopefully."
The Galaxy open preseason later this month, without Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Keane, A.J. DeLaGarza, Michael Stephens, a number of younger players, and not yet with a contract signed by David Beckham.