Robbie Keane and Nicolas Anelka may have been well-established Premier League names during the peak of their careers, but they are now struggling to get any parties interested in the Australian A-League if reports are to be believed.
Australia’s A-League has been on the rise in the last decade, but not to the extent of the MLS. This is believed to have been the reason behind Australia’s Football Federation Australia (FFA) giving a huge incentive to the club’s to sign former stars in a bid to boost the league profile. Keen to make out a career in Australia, Anelka and Keane are believed to have submitted their applications to at least five A-League outfits.
However, none of them have received a response in return and this is likely to be a huge disappointment. Anelka has played for clubs like Paris St Germain, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Arsenal in his extended playing career, and most recently signed for West Brom. Keane, meanwhile, is known for his spells with Tottenham and Liverpool.
It isn’t too long ago that any one of their matches would have had fans scouring the likes of livefootballtickets.com for spare tickets, just for the chance to see them play live, but it seems that they are now no longer the box-office draw they once were.
There appears to be various reasons for a league teams looking beyond these players. Anelka has been with Indian Super League team Mumbai City as a player coach, but he was not involved in any matches during the 2015 season that just concluded in December.
One of the reasons for not considering Anelka would be the lack of match fitness. The same would not play for Keane, who has been playing regularly for LA Galaxy in the last couple of years. The 2016 MLS season does not start until March and it leaves the former Republic of Ireland international with a lot of options to consider. He may very well stay at LA Galaxy considering that the club has made some promising new signings in the form of players like Steven Gerrard, who he knows very well from his time at Liverpool.