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Why A Robbie Reunion Would Solve Rafa’s Striking Problem

Robbie Keane is one of those footballers who has just seemingly existed forever. Think back as far as you like – recently, quite recently, a bit before that – Robbie Keane was banging in goals and doing his awful, awful celebration.

In fact, the only thing worse than Robbie Keane’s 9-year-old-in-the-park cartwheel/roll/finger guns thing is Newcastle United’s performance in front of goal. But combining the two might once and for all prove that two wrongs really can make a right.

Here’s a hot slice of fried opinion for you: Newcastle United should buy Robbie Keane.

Robbie Keane will be 36 years of age at the commencement of the Championship season, which is obviously not an appealing age when purchasing a footballer, but (and I’m going to really overuse his full name in this article) this is Robbie Keane we’re talking about.

Despite being the same age as the very first IBM-PC, Robbie Keane is still scoring loads and loads of goals. Loads of them. 25 in 27 club appearances, 14 in his last 19 internationals – granted these are mostly vs MLS sides and… um… Gibraltar, but Newcastle have got Burton, Rotherham and Brentford this season.

Ask yourself, if put through 1 on 1 in a tense game would you rather the ball was at the feet of any of Newcastle’s existing striking options, or Robbie Keane. Close your eyes and imagine that scenario and picture how many times the others cooly dispatch a shot beyond the goalkeeper and into the corner of the net. It’s not very often. Robbie Keane, on the other hand, has (I presume) scored with every single shot he’s ever taken. I don’t have the exact figures.

Plus, because we all love a subplot, he’s a player Rafa has already admired and worked with while at Liverpool. His spell there wasn’t one he’ll look back on too fondly, but the reports of a bust-up with Rafa or that the transfer was forced on the Spaniard have long since been refuted in assorted tell-alls and autobiographies. Ultimately he didn’t work well with Fernando Torres and wanted to go back to Spurs, his relationship with Benitez wasn’t an issue.

He’s not a long-term solution, he’s not someone to base this rebuilding project around, but he’s still something that Newcastle haven’t had in years; a dependable and experienced centre-forward. Without naming names, the acquisition of an ageing but reliable striker was ultimately what kept a certain other football team up at Newcastle’s expense.

Rafa’s identified “experience” as a key factor in his acquisitions this summer, and wants to avoid players who’s adaption to life in the Championship is an unknown factor in the move. In the twilight of his career, and with as much drive and determination as you’re likely to find, Robbie Keane is tailor-made for Newcastle United.

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