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Mad Scenario Sees Robbie Keane Return To Leeds As Big Sam's Assistant

Mad Scenario Sees Robbie Keane Return To Leeds As Big Sam's Assistant
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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Robbie Keane looks set to achieve a most unlikely return to the world of coaching, as part of Sam Allardyce's coaching ticket at relegation-threatened Leeds.

Leeds remain rooted in the battle to escape the bottom three and, after a torrid run of form that saw them lose 5-1 to Crystal Palace, 6-1 to Liverpool, and 4-1 to Bournemouth, Javi Gracia became their second managerial casualty of the season.

With Leeds currently sitting outside the relegation zone on goal difference only, they have turned to one of the Premier League's most infamous names to attempt to turn around their fortunes.

Sam Allardyce was confirmed on Wednesday as Leeds' manager until the end of the season, with Karl Robinson joining him as his assistant.

Multiple sources in the British media, however, suggest that Allardyce will have another assistant join his coaching team - none other than Irish legend Robbie Keane, returning to one of the many clubs from his playing days.

Report: Robbie Keane to return to Leeds as assistant manager

Robbie Keane played for Leeds in the early years of his career, spending a season and a half at Elland Road from 2001 to 2002 before getting his career-defining move to Tottenham Hotspur.

Now, it appears Keane will return to the club as an assistant coach, as Sam Allardyce desperately attempts to rescue their Premier League future.


The Times, and Sky Sports, were among those to report the rumours on Wednesday morning. Though Keane was not mentioned in Leeds' official announcement of their new coaching team, he is nonetheless widely expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

Keane will be a popular figure at Leeds given his history at the club - he is a favourite of the team's current right-back Luke Ayling, who has been known to mimic Keane's cartwheel-tumble-firing gun celebration when he scores.

Keane's most recent coaching roles both concluded in 2020, when his time as dual-assistant manager at Middlesbrough and with the Republic of Ireland came to an end in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.


When it comes to relegation battles, Sam Allardyce has been down this road before. He has pulled off successful Premier League survival jobs at Bolton, Sunderland, and Crystal Palace in the past - the appointment at Leeds marks his first Premier League job in almost two years.

Throughout his career, Allardyce has had trusted sidekick Sammy Lee with him as his assistant manager. In a bizarre turn of events which may explain why Keane and Robinson have been brought in for this job, Lee is currently serving jury duty, leaving him unavailable for the run in with Leeds.

To add spice to an already enthralling, tight relegation battle, one of Allardyce's most recent jobs came at Goodison Park as manager of Everton, who Leeds are fighting against for Premier League survival.


He's done it before - but can 'Big Sam' (with the aid of Robbie Keane) pull off one more great escape to keep Leeds in the top flight?

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