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Keane can follow Henry's lead, claims McLeish

ALEX McLEISH wants Robbie Keane to follow the lead of Thierry Henry and bring life to his short- term home.

The Aston Villa boss is hoping to complete the formalities of Keane's loan switch from LA Galaxy today, and admitted that his mind turned to the Irish skipper when another MLS loanee, Henry, made a dramatic impact on his Arsenal return on Monday night.

"I was thinking about Robbie when I saw the great drama," said McLeish. "It was a fantastic moment. If Robbie could come and give us that sort of inspiration, it would be great."

The Scotsman is confident that the Dubliner can make a positive impact after watching his performances in training this week.

"He's effervescent, he always wants to be involved in build-ups and he's a clever player. He's full of the one-twos, gives and goes, and he's got a good football brain. I'm sure he will be a good asset, albeit for a short space of time.

"He was very bright in training and it was good to see him at close quarters, and he looked very sharp.

"I know players can often look fantastic in five-a-side games and it can be different when the real business comes. But we know with Robbie, this is not a new kid on the block. He is very sharp upstairs."

Villa expect Keane to be available for Saturday's Premier League meeting with Everton.

Irish Independent