Robbie Keane has been assured of his future at the Premier League club Tottenham by manager Harry Redknapp, despite joining Scottish giants Celtic on loan for the remainder of the season. The Republic of Ireland forward has endured a frustrating campaign at the north London club, with Redknapp preferring the England pair Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch up front.
Keane's move to the Scottish Premier League club comes less than 12 months after he rejoined Spurs following an equally unproductive move to Liverpool last summer. However, Redknapp said he does not feel it is the end of the Republic's all-time leading goalscorer's career at White Hart Lane. "It was difficult for him not playing regularly, and he is not happy to have been out of the team," said Redknapp. "Robbie is not happy to sit around taking money without playing. He has a great enthusiasm for the game, Celtic is his team and it was a move for him I didn't want to stop him doing."
Keane signed for Spurs in 2002 from Leeds United and has gone on to make over 200 appearances and score over 100 goals for the club. He joined Liverpool for around £20 million (Dh120m) in July 2008. However, he went on to make only 15 appearances for the Anfield side and rejoined Spurs in February 2009 for £12m, taking his cumulative transfer fees to more than £70m. "Crouch and Defoe are in good form, and it can cause you problems when you have too many good players in one position," added Redknapp. "I could not guarantee Robbie that he would start in the cup at Leeds, or against Villa at the weekend - and he needs to play.
"I cannot see it being permanent. It is only a loan until the end of the season. I would think that might be as far as it goes." Redknapp is renowned for moving players around during the transfer window, and added Younes Kaboul from Portsmouth to his squad before the window closed on Monday, but he said he is glad he can now focus on training and matches once again. "The window is a bit of a farce. It might give excitement for fans, but not for managers," he said.
"I couldn't wait for 5pm [GMT] to arrive; the phone stops ringing and people stop bothering you with players who are no use to you. I am pleased it has finished again." Keane was presented to hundreds of Celtic supporters in the early hours of yesterday morning, arriving at Parkhead to a hero's welcome on the stroke of midnight before addressing the throng waiting to greet him. He described his move to Parkhead as him joining his boyhood club, echoing similar remarks to when he joined Liverpool, but said he hoped to end the season with some silverware.
"I'm here to hopefully win trophies for Celtic and that is hopefully winning the league. "I want to be part of that and I believe, with the squad of players that are here, there's no reason why we can't." * With agencies