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Jan 11, 2012

Villa land Galaxy star Keane

Aston Villa have signed LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane on a short-term loan, subject to FIFA clearance.

• McLeish talks up Keane deal

Keane will remain at Villa Park until February 25, taking in six Premier League games, and will then return to LA for the start of the Major League Soccer season in March.

Keane has already started training with Villa and will be in contention to make his debut against Everton - and his LA Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan - on Saturday if the final piece of paperwork comes through in time.

Keane said: "I'm delighted to be back in the Premier League. This is only short term, of course, but there has been a lot of speculation over the years linking my name to Villa and, finally, I'm here.

"I'm excited about it and I know I'll really enjoy my time here. It's only for two months but I will do my absolute best in these two months. Villa is a great club, a club with a massive tradition and standing in the game and Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums I've ever played in.

"If selected to play on Saturday, I will genuinely be looking forward to it and I'll be excited to be involved again in Premier League action. I've been training with the players here for the past few days and it's been great but I'm not naive enough to think I'll just walk straight into the team.

"If I can help and contribute to the overall effort of the team then hopefully I will be of benefit to Aston Villa. That's my aim.''

Villa's record signing Darren Bent, who played alongside Keane at Tottenham, said: "It's a top signing, a really clever move. In training Robbie has looked razor-sharp and up for the challenge. He's a great player and he has been for many years.

"There is no doubt he will give absolutely everything during his time here. He knows the game inside out and, from what I have seen of him so far, he's bright as a button.

"He will help all the other strikers here but, more importantly, he will help Villa. He will bring experience which will aid a few of the younger lads who are breaking through into the team and the other youngsters in and around the place."

Villa manager Alex McLeish hopes Keane can provide the same sort of spark as another on loan MLS player Thierry Henry has achieved after rejoining Arsenal.

New York Red Bulls striker Henry marked the start of his second spell at Arsenal by scoring the winner in the FA Cup triumph over Leeds.

McLeish said: "I saw Thierry Henry's goal the other night and it was a fantastic moment regardless of which team you support. I thought 'wow, it would be good if Robbie can make that kind of impact'.''

Keane moved to Galaxy from Tottenham last summer after spending the second half of last season on loan at West Ham. But he is keen to maintain his sharpness during the current close season in America ahead of skippering his country in this summer's Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Villa fit the bill for the 31-year-old and McLeish hopes Keane's experience can aid his young squad, especially with Emile Heskey sidelined for a month with his Achilles injury.

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