Struggling for points and goals, Aston Villa slid into the Premier League relegation zone at the weekend after a 5-0 demolition at Man City. Admittedly, Paul Lambert’s side won’t be judged on their ability to pick up points at grounds like the Etihad, but the nature of the second half capitulation that allowed the Champions to score four unreturned goals will have caused some concern for Lambert.
Sadly, it isn’t his only concern right now. Villa, once again, drew a blank in front of goal, the fourth time they’ve failed to trouble the score charts this season, and with just a miserly 10 goals in twelve league games under their belts, something needs to be altered in order for Villa to start finding the net on a more consistent and satisfactory basis. The answer to this problem, which is the predominant reason why Villa are suffering, could be found from an external source.
Robbie Keane, who spent six weeks on loan at Villa in the early stages of last season, is looking for another return to the Premier League as his LA Galaxy side take a winter break from their MLS duties. With Keane searching for a Premier League team to hook up with, Aston Villa seem a viable option, and he is surely worth a detailed consideration from Lambert.
Keane has scored goals for whichever Premier League club he has played for, with the exception of a disappointing short spell at Liverpool, a move which at the time was possibly just too big for him. He is, of course, well accustomed to the pace of the Premier League, and coming fresh of the back of a long season in the US, he won’t need weeks to get upto full fitness levels. With this in mind, a move appears beneficial to both parties. Keane gets the competitive football he needs to maintain his fitness, and Villa get a natural goalscorer to aid their cause.
With Benteke slowly finding his feet in the Premier League, Gabby Agbonlahor showing signs of returning to the form he produced during Martin O’Neil’s tenure at Villa Park, and Darren Bent always predatory infront of goal, Villa do have options available to them internally, especially when you consider that youngster Andreas Wiemann is developing into a great potential.
But the lure of Robbie Keane, and the goals he unquestionably brings, may prove too much for Lambert to resist if a potential deal is on the table. In his time at Villa last season, Keane netted three times in seven appearances, and goals are what Villa desperately require if they are to pull away from the relegation zone they currently occupy.
Villa have improved in recent weeks after a cluster of underwhelming performances early on in the season. A battling display against Man United last weekend came on the back of a morale-boosting win at Sunderland, so Lambert will be hoping that the trashing handed to his side by Man City is an anomaly, and isn’t the catalyst for a return to those early season displays that blighted the positivity that surrounded Lambert’s initial appointment to the Villa Park hot seat.
Nevertheless, the fact that Villa are embroiled in a relegation battle can not be hidden, and Lambert will need to exploit all the resources available to him in the coming months in order to preserve his clubs Premier League status. Robbie Keane is an attractive option, and one which Lambert needs to take if the opportunity arises.