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Keane 'sure' Hammers can survive after sealing loan switch


Robbie Keane. Photo: Getty Images

Robbie Keane. Photo: Getty Images

Robbie Keane. Photo: Getty Images

West Ham last night completed the loan signing of Ireland captain Robbie Keane from Premier League rivals Tottenham until the end of the season.

The Hammers have agreed a deal that takes the Irish striker on loan until the end of the season, with a view to making a £6m deal permanent for the next two-and-a-half years -- as long as they maintain their top-flight status.

The news comes just days after Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni warned the Spurs hitman that his place in the national team was in jeopardy if he continued to sit on the bench at White Hart Lane.

The Italian will be pleased that his record-scoring striker is set to get some valuable game time ahead of Ireland's opening Carling Nations Cup clash against Wales tomorrow week.

Keane could make his debut in Wednesday's match at Blackpool and the Hammers are in action again on Sunday against Birmingham.

Keane told his new club's official website: "I am ready to help West Ham stay in the Premier League, which is the most important thing for this club."

Keane passed a medical and put pen to paper on a contract after watching their 3-2 defeat of Nottingham Forest, which puts the Hammers in the last 16 of the FA Cup.

"I am really pleased to have signed and now I just can't wait to start training and playing football," he said.

"I feel as fit as I ever have done in my life and I feel I have plenty left to offer at the highest level for at least the next four or five years.

"I want to help anywhere I can help the football club, whether that is in training, in the dressing-room or on the pitch on a match day.

"We have some good players here and I am sure we can stay up.

"When I went on loan to Celtic I scored 17 goals in 19 games and if I can do even half as well as I did there, then I'll be happy."

Hammers boss Avram Grant believes the 30-year-old is just the character the Hammers need in their fight against relegation.

"He (Keane) is not just a good player, he is a good character that we need in the next 14 games," said Grant.

Keane is the fourth arrival at Upton Park in the current transfer window, joining defender Wayne Bridge, midfielder Gary O'Neil and fellow forward Demba Ba.

Irish Independent