On This Day In 2009: In, Out, In, Out – Robbie Keane Does The Tottenham Hokey-Cokey

Martin Cloake

2nd, February 2016


Think of Tottenham Hotspur and you think of tradition – cup glory, fast flowing football and, for at short stretch after the turn of the millennium, selling players only to buy them back again shortly thereafter.

Case in point. Robbie Keane had left Tottenham in the summer of 2008, completing a stunning double deal in which the North London club managed to sell him and Dimitar Berbatov, thus depriving themselves of arguably the best strike combination in the Premier League.

Keane toddled off to Liverpool, a club he proudly stated he had supported as a boy – a claim he later made about Celtic after signing on loan. To be fair, as a kid growing up in Ireland, it was perfectly likely Keane had followed both teams, but the line did start to wear a bit thin nonetheless.

However, things did not quite mesh at Liverpool, and after just 19 league appearances Keane returned to White Hart Lane. In his two spells at Spurs, Keane netted 91 goals and is now quite rightly regarded as a latter day club legend.

He’s also a member of an exclusive club of Spurs players who seemed to be in and out of the revolving doors on a regular basis, namely Younes Kaboul (signed in 2007, sold in 2008, re-signed in 2010, sold in 2015), Jermain Defoe (signed 2004, sold in 2008, re-signed in 2009, sold in 2014) and the great Pascal Chimbonda (signed in 2006, sold in 2008, re-signed in 2009 and then sold again in, er, 2009).

Better the devil you know and all that.

You can follow Martin Cloake on Twitter at @MartinCloake and find more about his books and writing at www.martincloake.com