Given backs Robbie Keane to make big impact at Aston Villa
Paperwork all that’s holding up Irish captain’s loan move
Shay Given can’t wait to see Robbie Keane in an Aston Villa shirt – even if his move from California and the MLS is only temporary.
Villa will unveil Keane as their latest signing on Thursday, after international clearance arrives from America.
The LA Galaxy striker has signed a two-month loan deal with the Premier League side and should make his debut against Everton on Saturday.
“It’s great for Villa to secure a player of Robbie’s calibre, even in the short term,” said Given.
“I didn’t know how fit he was before the last couple of days in training but he looks really sharp, to behonest.
“We’re all delighted that he’s here and I think he’s just given the whole dressing room a lift.
“He’s a big personality and he’s a big-game player. I think even in training the lads have been very impressed with what they’ve seen.
“Some of the young lads here can learn from a guy like Robbie Keane. It’s fantastic for them. I think the younger players will look up to him and learn from him.
“I also think he will cause Premier League defences plenty of problems when he’s given a chance to play. If you give him a chance, then nine times out of 10 he’ll take it.”
Fit again after a recent hamstring injury, Given could also play against Everton despite the impressive form of Brad Guzan.
The Irish ‘keeper added: “I don’t know what the manager’s thoughts are, whether I will be in the squad to face Everton or not.
“I want to try and get back in as soon as I can and hopefully it will happen on Saturday. But every player has to fight for his place, however, and Brad has done a great job in my absence.
“For me, it’s been a frustrating time not to have been playing over the past few weeks. But I’m glad to be back out on the training pitch and I’m glad to be working to be match fit again.
“The hamstring feels great. I haven’t had a hamstring problem in my life so it’s a bit new to me, to be honest. I’ve recovered really well and had lots of good treatment and I don’t feel anything now. I just need to sharpen up.”
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