Keane playing for Ireland
International Irish Football

Robbie Keane in India: What’s the story?

  • Keane is waiting to make his debut
  • Season runs for only 4 months from November to March
  • Teddy Sheringham is his new boss
  • His side has won consecutive Indian Super League titles

Shamrock Rovers lost their man

In hindsight, ‘Robbie Keane in shock move to Shamrock Rovers’ was one more of the far-fetched summer transfer stories. The Irish striker had left LA Galaxy after a hugely successful stint in the MLS. A host of Championship clubs were rumoured to be on the verge of signing Keane, and even one or two Premier League clubs were linked. When it announced that he was signing for Atlético de Kolkata in the Indian Super League, it was a slight surprise.

Fairer conditions in the sun

Why would Keane return to the marathon 46-game Championship when he can participate in a 10 team league that runs for 5 months? His salary is expected to be in the 50 thousand pound per week bracket, and Keane has only committed to playing the 5 month season before departing. After playing for LA Galaxy is comfortable conditions, Keane may be unwilling to return to play in a league that places too much emphasis on producing on a ‘wet and windy Tuesday night in Stoke’.

Teddy Sheringham

So what’s the managerial pedigree of their new coach? A nine-month stint with Stevenage in League Two during the 2015/16 season. Sheringham had a win rate of 22.1% before he was sacked with the club sitting 19th in the table. A top-level striker in his day, India could be the perfect place to build his confidence.

Atlético de Kolkata

The club was founded only 3 years ago making it impossible for Robbie to be experiencing another ‘boyhood dream’. Two consecutive league titles and an 85,000 capacity stadium in Kolkata, West Bengal, shows how big of a deal the club is. Jussi Jääskeläinen is probably the only other player people will have heard of in their ranks. The ex-Bolton stopper is now 42 but has signed up for another pay-day.

Predictions

Robbie Keane exceeded all expectations in the States. 83 goals in 125 games and 3 MLS Cups shows how much the Irish legend achieved across the pond. He has been out of action for the best part of a year now, so doubts may exist over his level of fitness. However, Keane has always kept himself in good shape and is a ‘young’ 37. He’s joining the best team in the Indian Super League and will surely be a fans’ favourite in no time. It might not be long before 85,000 delirious fans in West Bengal are learning the art of screaming ‘KeanO, KeanO’ endlessly.

Image: Goal.com

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