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Premier League's best youngsters are English

Tactics and Analysis 17 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 17, 2011

Bentley hopes for Keane reunion

Birmingham's on-loan newcomer David Bentley believes his Tottenham team-mate Robbie Keane would be "a great addition'' should he join him at St Andrew's.

City have agreed a £6 million deal with Spurs for Keane but negotiations with the player are still at an early stage. Bentley has seen enough of Keane at close hand to be convinced he would be a success at Blues along with another reported transfer target, Rangers striker Kenny Miller.

"Robbie is still a great player. Even in training, he is still as sharp as anything,'' Bentley said. "He knows where the net is and he is intelligent as a player."People are talking about his age but he has never been a player that has been blessed with pace. He is an intelligent player and it will be great to get him in.

"I am in close contact with Robbie and hopefully things can be sorted out. He has still got loads of quality. Kenny Miller is also a player who leads the line well and scores goals. If we can get players like that in, it will be great.''

Bentley was happy with his performance on his debut in the 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa yesterday, but the former Blackburn player believes he will get better with match sharpness and fitness.

He said: "I was pleased to be out there. With the aid of match fitness, you get a lot more quality in the critical areas. I was happy but I could have been better. My match fitness will come over two or three games.

"You are running 60 yards with the ball and, at the final point, that is where the match fitness comes into play. Hopefully in the next few games, there will be more quality and more end product from me.''

Blues boss Alex McLeish was happy with Bentley's contribution against Villa.

He said: "David was excellent. His touch and technique was brilliant and he will bring a lot to us. He is still honing his sharpness after not playing much but you can see the quality he possesses.''

McLeish, meanwhile, has urged central defenders Liam Ridgewell and Martin Jiranek to demonstrate that they can fill the void left by Scott Dann's long-term hamstring injury.

Ridgewell switched from left-back into the middle of defence against Villa alongside Roger Johnson but Czech republic international Jiranek, signed from Spartak Moscow last summer, could also get his opportunity in the forthcoming weeks.

McLeish said: "We will miss Scott but we have to get on with it. These are things a manager can't legislate for. Other players have to step up to the plate.''

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