Wednesday 17 January 2018

Robbie Keane major fitness worry for Scotland clash

Ireland striker signs new deal with LA Galaxy but is a doubt for Euro crunch

Robbie Keane is a doubt for Scotland game
Robbie Keane is a doubt for Scotland game
Paul Hyland

Paul Hyland

ROBBIE Keane is a major fitness worry ahead of Ireland’s crunch Euro 2016 clash with Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The LA Galaxy hitman responded to his club’s call and gave a full 90 minutes when he only expected to play an hour against the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend. The unplanned effort has aggravated a groin injury.

“Robbie’s arrived. He’s getting over the trip. I don’t think he thought he was going to play the 90 minutes but they were chasing the game and he was kept on,” said Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.

“So he’s done a little bit of training but I will see how he is after it. Obviously he’s just getting over the trip.”

O’Neill has hinted that Keane will be used as an impact substitute against Scotland and it could be that a fast and furious half hour is all he has in him.

Sources say that Keane will need every minute of the three days remaining to recover and be ready in time to meet Gordon Strachan’s men and even that might not be enough.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard might be the big name set to arrive at LA Galaxy on July 1st, but Keane confirmed he is still their main man after being handed another contract extension.

Keane's former Republic of Ireland team-mate Damien Duff joked a few months ago that Ireland's all-time record scorer 'seemed to be signing new contracts every five minutes' with LA Galaxy and now he has been rewarded for his fine form with a fresh deal.

The Dubliner was the player of the year in MLS as he led Galaxy to an MLS Cup Final victory last year and now the club have confirmed he has signed on to extend his stay in California.

Keane has scored 55 goals in just 91 appearances for the Galaxy and head coach Bruce Arena was quick to hail the new deal for his skipper.

“We’re very pleased Robbie will continue to be a member of the Galaxy in the coming years,” said Arena.

“He has been one of the key pieces in our success over the past five seasons. We look forward to even more success with Robbie as a member of our team.”


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