The Republic of Ireland's all-time leading scorer Robbie Keane has returned to European football with a loan switch from LA Galaxy to Aston Villa FC.
Keane, 31, left Tottenham Hotspur FC for Los Angeles last summer and proved a success in California, creating the winning goal that gave Galaxy the MLS title in November. Having already been in winter training with the Birmingham club – currently 13th in England's Premier League – he will play for Villa up until their game at Wigan Athletic FC on 25 February before heading back to the United States for the new season.
Preparing to take part at UEFA EURO 2012 with Ireland, for whom he has 53 goals in 114 internationals, former Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Coventry City FC, FC Internazionale Milano, Leeds United AFC, Liverpool FC, Celtic FC and West Ham United FC forward Keane said: "I'm delighted to be back in the Premier League. This is only short term, of course, but there has been a lot of speculation over the years linking my name to Villa and, finally, I'm here."
He could be matched immediately against Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan, on loan with Villa's opponents on Saturday, Everton FC. Another MLS player spending the close season in England is Thierry Henry, who scored on his Arsenal FC comeback this week.
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