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Keane to get started: Robbie ready for Villa debut against Everton

FIFA have signed off Robbie Keane’s six-week loan move to Aston Villa, freeing the striker to make his debut for the club tomorrow.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

ROBBIE KEANE COULD make his Aston Villa debut tomorrow afternoon in a “stars and stripes derby” against LA Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan.

The Republic of Ireland captain was presented to the media yesterday afternoon after he tied up a deal which will see him spend six weeks off the MLS off-season on loan in the Midlands.

FIFA clearance for Keane’s move came through this morning and the Dubliner is expected to feature in manager Alex McLeish’s squad for tomorrow’s game against Everton, where Donovan is currently on loan.

McLeish said earlier this week that he hoped Keane’s presence would keep the rest of his strikers on their toes, including record signing Darren Bent who Keane played alongside during his Tottenham Hotspur days.

“I played with Darren for a few years at Tottenham and he’s a top player,” Keane told the club’s official website. “He’s proven over the years what a top player he is by the amount of goals he’s scored at every club.”

“When Benty and I did play together, we actually did play well, even if it wasn’t on many occasions.

We’re different players, Darren and I. Darren likes to play on the shoulder and get in behind, whereas I’m a player who likes to drop off and get the ball off the midfielders and play in between.

I’m sure it’ll suit us. And Gabby [Agbonlahor] can do a bit of both, drop off or play up high.

Bent was among the first to welcome Keane’s signing yesterday, and told reporters that his new strike partner showed no signs of off-season sluggishness in training earlier this week.

“It’s a top signing, a really clever move. In training Robbie has looked razor-sharp and up for the challenge,” Bent said.

He knows the game inside out and, from what I have seen of him so far, he’s bright as a button. He will help all the other strikers here but, more importantly, he will help Villa.

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Niall Kelly

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