Keane seals return to EPL with loan to Aston Villa

Robbie Keane is headed back to familiar territory, returning to the Premier League as the latest LA Galaxy player to head out on loan.

The Galaxy announced on Thursday that the Irish striker would join Aston Villa on loan effective immediately and will be available for as many as eight EPL and FA Cup matches. Keane, who began training with Villa earlier this week after a short training stint with Tottenham, could appear for the Birmingham-based club as early as Saturday against LA teammate Landon Donovan and Everton.

Aston Villa will be the striker’s fifth Premier League club, following stints with Coventry City, Leeds United, Liverpool and Tottenham in the top division. Keane will remain with the Villans until the end of February before meeting up with the Republic of Ireland for a friendly against the Czech Republic in Dublin as the country prepares for the 2012 European Championship. He will then rejoin the Galaxy prior to the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Toronto FC at Rogers Centre on March 7.

LA signed Keane in August, and the veteran forward contributed two goals and an assist in seven regular-season games as well as a goal and an assist during the Galaxy’s postseason run to an MLS Cup championship. Keane will compete with England internationals Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent for a spot in Alex McLeish’s squad at Villa, which is owned by American Randy Lerner.