ISL 2017: ATK confirm signing of Robbie Keane
What's the story?
Reigning champions, ATK have confirmed the acquisition of marquee signing and Republic of Ireland legend Robbie Keane.
The 37-year-old said upon putting pen to paper: “I feel extremely fortunate to have played for some of the best clubs in England and the USA, as well as representing my country at several major tournaments. At this stage of my career, the offer to experience a new league and culture in Asia appealed to me. To join the current Indian Super League champions is a great pleasure and through hardwork, I hope to bring the ATK fans more success and enjoyment over the course of the 2017/2018 season."
Keane has become the side's first foreign signing of this season and it has come to light that the player was signed on behalf of the request of head coach Teddy Sheringham.
Keane is also expected to be the biggest name to play in this season of the Indian Super League.
In case you didn't know...
Keane announced his retirement from international football last year and last played club football for Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS. He played with Teddy Sheringham at Tottenham Hotspur and because of that partnership, the coach decided to rope in his former colleague. Meanwhile, this will be the league's 20th overseas signing of the season with Bengaluru FC signing the most with five foreigners.
The heart of the matter
The ATK co-owner Sanjiv Goenka revealed that the player was extremely eager to play in Asia and at the age of 37, is still fit to last the entire season. He compared Keane with Ben Stokes - the England all rounder who was signed by Goenka for his IPL side, Rising Pune Supergiant.
ATK were the second highest spenders in the draft pick and with the 37-year-old in their ranks, they are well placed in the defence of their title. The 2017-18 ISL season starts on 17th November.
Just like the focus was on Diego Forlan and David Trezeguet in the earlier seasons, Robbie Keane will be under the spotlight to perform well this season. He has enough experience under his belt and has scored over 300 goals for club and country. The 37-year-old can prove to be an inspired signing for the champions as time will tell if his arrival can prove to be a defining moment for ATK.