It's Officially January: Robbie Keane "Linked" To Aston Villa

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 15: Robbie Keane of Republic of Ireland celebrates at the end of the match during the EURO 2012 Qualifier Play Off Second Leg match between Republic of Ireland and Estonia at Aviva Stadium on November 15, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Daily Mail, quoting the Daily Mirror without somehow opening a wormhole into another dimension, claims that Alex McLeish is interested in bringing LA Galaxy and Ireland striker Robbie Keane to Aston Villa on a two-month loan. Keane came to the Galaxy at the close of the MLS transfer window (a bit more than half-way through the season) and was instrumental in LA wrapping up one of the best seasons in league history before claiming the MLS Cup in November. Keane-to-Villa has become something of a transfer window fixture, now spanning the tenure of three managers, and given the sources involved it's pretty tempting to write this one off entirely.

Except for the fact that this time it's at least a little bit plausible. Villa could certainly use another striker, as Nathan Delfouneso continues to disappoint and Emile Heskey has somehow gotten worse. Alex McLeish has continually insisted that Darren Bent won't be sold and Gabby Agbonlahor continues to play well, but two competent strikers just isn't going to cut it (especially when one of them is starting on the wing half the time) and a short-term loan makes a lot of sense. It's good for Keane as it will keep him in shape for the upcoming Euros and it wouldn't cost Villa much at all. The only party that stands to lose is Keane's parent club, but the Galaxy aren't going to let him go anywhere without a substantial insurance policy guaranteed by whichever club may end up with his services.

In short, it might actually happen this time. Villa need bodies and they're not going to be spending a lot of money, and a loan deal such as Keane's is likely to have a lot more impact than a prospect from another club. I'm not saying I expect it to happen by any stretch, but unlike years past it makes a lot of sense. If it happened, it would be far from a shock. And then maybe, finally, we can go a January without hearing about Keane coming to Villa.

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