The Premier League’s bottom club, West Ham United, have stated that they have agreed a deal that would see Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane move to Upton Park for the remainder of the season.
The Republic of Ireland forward, 30, has scored 91 league goals for the White Hart Lane club since his move from Leeds United in 2003. Despite his goal scoring record the Irishman’s time at Spurs has not been plain sailing. In the summer of 2008 he signed for Liverpool for a fee of £19 million, however just six months later he made the move back to the Lilywhites for £12 million after scoring just five goals.
Following that Keane also found himself loaned out this time last year on a six month spell at Scottish Premier League outfit Celtic. Although he scored 12 times in less than half a season in Scotland, since returning to Spurs this season he has yet to register his name on the score sheet.
None the less, Avram Grant will feel that Keane offers his side a different option up front. As well as having great experience from playing in the 2002 World Cup, as well as having turned out Inter Milan some ten years ago.
So far this season the Hammers have scored 24 times in 24 matches and have a goal difference of minus 19, while Frederic Piquionne is the club’s top scorer with six in the league so far.
Fellow Premier League strugglers Wolverhampton Wonderers have also taken a Spurs player on loan, in the form of former England under 21 international Jamie O’Hara. O’Hara was on loan for the whole of last season as he experienced relegation and an FA Cup final with Portsmouth.
The will be the fourth time that the 24 year old has been loaned out by Spurs, having previously also spent time at Chesterfield and Millwall as he looked to gain first team experience early in his career. Although his experiences with Pompey are sure to be of assistance to Mick McCarthy’s side as they look to stave of relegation during their second season back in England’s top flight, his ability to play a number of positions could also be key to a Wolves squad that is one of the smallest in the Premier League.
Although O’Hara started life as a fullback, during his time on the south coast he developed into a winger and his ability to beat a defender and cross a ball that asks questions of defences will come in handy at Molineux.
Wolves’ fellow Midland’s club Aston Villa are on the brink of loaning out midfielder Stephen Ireland to Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United. Ireland only made the switch to Villa Park at the start of the season after Roberto Mancini decided he was surplus to requirements to the City of Manchester Stadium.
Since his move, the former Republic of Ireland player, has made just 13 appearances for Gerard Houllier’s side and has failed to score this season. The 24 year old has seen his form drop alarmingly since the 2008/9 season when he was named Manchester City’s player of the season.
Newcastle United already have club captain Kevin Nolan, England international Joey Barton, and Danny Guthrie in midfield, and Ireland could add some extra quality to a side that find themselves in ninth place in the Premier League following their return to the league as winners of the Championship last season.
If Ireland settles in well at St James’ Park he could well make his loan move to the north east into a permanent one if owner Mike Ashley gives Pardew money to invest in his squad come the summer.