Robbie Keane was once the British record holder for a teenager, but his performances at Elland Road fell WELL short of expectations.
We can understand why managers go a little wild when they are handed a transfer pot to play around with. Heck, we do the same on Football Manager – and that is just a video game. New and exciting talent joining the squad from all four corners of the world – strutting their stuff in front of fans. In a way, the player’s success feels like an extension of your own. As a manager, you made it happen – after all. But David O’Leary took it one step too far. Like a fat kid in a sweet shop, the former Leeds United manager dipped his hands every available jar – making 18 signings at a total outlay of £96.3m (as per The Guardian).
Following an impressive season with Coventry in which he claimed 12 goals in 31 games Inter Milan saw fit to recruit his services, instigating one of the most unlikely interactions between two football clubs. Unfortunately, however, Keane did not take well to Italian football and after just a single year he found himself back in England – Leeds United the suitors.
Any man who performs well alongside cult hero Mark Viduka gets the green light from just about anyone in the footballing world, and that is exactly what Robbie Keane did. In his first season at the club (on loan) the Ireland star bagged eight goals for his new employers, kicking off what probably should have been a very healthy relationship with one of the nation’s most iconic footballing institutions.
His pace and niftiness around the box complimented the brutish but elegant style of Leeds established forward, and at such a young age, the competition he created with the Whites other youngster, Alan Smith, was extremely healthy.
All was well. Until the following season happened, anyway. After making his move to West Yorkshire permanent for an estimated £12million (as per Daily Mail), the Ireland star flopped pretty badly and in the 25 league appearances he made, he picked up the same number of yellow cards as he did goals – three.
Although Leeds managed a fifth-place finish that year, we think it is fair to say he played a very insignificant part.
He joined Tottenham just a year later and, while he’s rightly recognised as one of the Premier League’s most prolific strikers, did little to prove worth Leeds’ money.
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