Before this summer, Robbie Keane and Ledley King were two players you never thought would leave Tottenham. Quality players capable of walking into the starting lineups of the Top 4 sides, captain and vice-captain at the club, fiercely loyal and true icons in every sense of the word.
But even as Juande Ramos begins his ‘revolution’ by bringing in quality players and shipping out the deadwood, there are a few players at White Hart Lane who don’t believe. Dimitar Berbatov is one of them and to be honest no one would be too surprised – once United came calling and Tottenham failed to jump into the Champions League as they promised they would, he was going to go sooner or later.
Before Berbatov ships out though, another striker has made his move away from Tottenham quietly and without much fuss. Robbie Keane moves from London to Liverpool to play in the Champions League and stand a chance of winning the Premier League (yes, this is Liverpool’s year, didn’t you know?). He leaves behind a gaping hole in Tottenham’s squad – Keane was not only Tottenham’s most reliable striker of the past five years (Berba’s efforts notwithstanding), but arguably more valuable to Spurs than Berba’s goals.
Berba’s departure is more or less expected – Keane’s loss will evoke disgust and hurt in equal measures. The fact that he went before Berba – and is being paid close to 80k/week (according to the BBC) – will provide fuel for claims that all footballers, even the good ones, are mercenaries. As football fans are, Spurs will turn their back on their former hero and move on without him – Tottenham are now reported to be after David Villa, although the striker is also being tracked by the big two in Spain.
And Liverpool? They finally have that ‘quality’ second striker to play upfront – the 20m spent on Robbie is excessive but not more than the 15-18m demanded for Barry. Liverpool needed a top-notch striker to help them match their title rivals and now they have not one but two.
Whether the pair can lead them to Premier League glory is altogether a different story…
Bonus link: Claudine Palmer.