Sunday, January 16, 2022

Robbie´s Keane to join Liverpool´s magnificent No. 7 club

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Aug 2008


Liverpool's roll-call of magnificent number sevens includes legends like Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Peter Beardsley – and Robbie Keane is determined to add his name to that list.

Ever since Keegan arrived at Anfield in the 1970s, Liverpool have enjoyed their most successful periods when the number seven shirt has been filled by a dynamic playmaker capable of raising the team's play to a higher level.

When Dalglish, arguably the club's finest player, became manager in the late 1980s he recognised Beardsley as a kindred spirit and paid a then British record transfer fee to make the forward a fulcrum of his attack.

Beardsley was a member of the last Reds team to win the English title back in 1990 and his sublime skills, together with those of team-mates John Barnes and John Aldridge, enthralled one teenage Liverpool fanatic.

Keane, watching at home in Ireland, fell in love with Liverpool's brand of the beautiful game and never lost the feeling.

So when Rafa Benitez offered the 28-year-old the chance to move to Anfield, he couldn't get to Merseyside quickly enough.

During his official unveiling as a Liverpool player after his 20 million pounds (25 million euro) move last month, Keane's face was wreathed in the kind of joyfully dazed grin that suggested all his dreams had come true at once.

Not only had Keane joined his boyhood idols but he would run out in front of the Kop wearing the iconic number seven jersey after the club granted his wish to step into the shoes of Dalglish and company.

“When the interest came in from Liverpool it was the only thing that could have ever taken me away from Tottenham and that's the reason why I'm here,” Keane said.

“I couldn't have left Tottenham for any other club. I think that if I didn't come to Liverpool, I'd probably have regretted it for the rest of my life.”

Keane's ability to decorate matches with moments of brilliance has made him one the game's most expensive players throughout a career which has included spells at Inter Milan, Leeds and now Liverpool.

But Keane has never been able to turn that talent into trophies on a regular basis.

Now he has the opportunity at one of the game's blue-chip clubs and Benitez expects his partnership with Fernando Torres to help Liverpool end their 18-year wait for the title.

Despite Torres's phenomenal form, Liverpool still drew 13 matches last season as a lack of cutting edge when the Spaniard was out of form or out of the team came back to haunt them.

Keane believes he can take the pressure off Torres, as well as supplying his prolific team-mate with a regular supply of chances.

“I'm a striker and the manager sees my playing up there,” he said. “We haven't spoken specifically about what he wants me to do but I have to earn that right.

“It's kind of like the way it worked with (Dimitar) Berbatov and myself at Tottenham with a big lad and a smaller lad alongside him. Fernando is really good in the air and I try to come off and drop into the hole so we'll complement each other.

“You look at the players who are already here, world class players, and to be playing alongside them can only improve me.”


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