Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Video: Rafa speaks as Robbie returns to Spurs

Robbie Keane is intent on scoring the goals that will keep Tottenham in the Premier League, after admitting his return to White Hart Lane feels like a homecoming.

Keane switched to Liverpool in the summer in a move that cost the Anfield club up to £20million but after a brief - and largely unhappy - spell on Merseyside, he is back in north London having returned to Spurs in a shock deadline-day move.

Speaking for the first time about the deal, Keane told the club website, www.tottenhamhotspur.com: "Coming back to Spurs was an easy decision to make because this is my home.

"Firstly, in respect of the club - but also my house is in the area and everything is set up for me to walk right back into.

Rafa Benitez: Why I had to let Robbie Keane go





"It's funny how football works sometimes and situations turn around very quickly, but I can assure fans I will be giving my all to make sure this club stays in the Premier League."

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, meanwhile, told a press conference televised by Sky Sports News the deal was the best solution for all parties.

"There was a player not doing as well as he could do," said the Spaniard, the day after the 28-year-old ended his six-month spell with the Reds.

"I think for the best for the club and for him we had to do it right now. We could do it (now) because Tottenham was very, very interested.

"We had Tottenham asking, they were pushing, very interested because they are in a bad position and they think Keane can be a fantastic player for them."

Benitez insisted he had no problem with Keane, but the former Inter Milan forward simply had not fitted into his plans.

"We know he can play, he's a very good player," added the Liverpool manager. "We had to decide quickly. I think we had to do it now - later it could have been worse for him and worse for us.

"Sometimes you have a good player like Robbie and they are not settled down or understanding with the other players, the system... a situation you cannot control. If you know it's not working, you must find a solution to it now.

"Robbie is a very good professional, working hard. Before the game against Chelsea and after the game he was in the dressing room - everything okay."

The 28-year-old Irishman captained Spurs in his last stint at the club, who battled hard to keep the striker when the Reds came in for him last summer.

He eventually opted to join Liverpool, a move he admitted was a wrench, but is glad to be back in an environment where he feels at ease.

He continued: "I'm delighted to be back at a club I have very strong feelings from having previously spent six wonderful years here.

"It would have been difficult for me to have gone anywhere else while a club I have such strong feelings for has this fight on its hands.

"It's been an up-and-down season for the club and there's been a lot of change, including a change of manager, but now it's up to us as players to start getting the team up the table," he added.

"I'm coming back to a fantastic club with fantastic players. I am extremely excited about this new chapter in my career, even though it doesn't feel as if the previous chapter really ended."

Keane was less willing to reflect on his time with the Reds, during which he struggled for both goals and games as it quickly became apparent he did not fit into Benitez's preferred formation.

"It was a difficult time for me at Liverpool, but there's no point in dwelling on it," he said.

"Now I have the chance to work with a fantastic manager in Harry Redknapp, who has done a great job since he came in, so I am lucky to be getting this exciting opportunity."

Keane joins fellow Spurs old boys Jermain Defoe and Pascal Chimbonda in returning to the club this month, while Wilson Palacios and goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini have also been signed.

Those captures have left Redknapp delighted with his first transfer window at the club.

On adding Keane to his previous purchases, the former Portsmouth manager said: "I'm delighted to have Robbie back. I couldn't be more pleased.

"I think he's a terrific player, a terrific character and just the type of lad we need here.

"He's a leader, he gives his all every time he plays and has great ability. He will be fantastic for us and his enthusiasm will rub off on other players around him.

"The chairman has been tremendous in backing me and bringing these players back. I know Daniel (Levy) worked very hard to try and keep Robbie here in the first place and just as hard to get him back.

"Robbie knows what he's doing, you can rely on him; he's a clever player and plays with that enthusiasm."

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