Jol factor prompts Keane to sign new deal at Spurs

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The Independent Football

Robbie Keane celebrated a good week by pledging his future to Tottenham Hotspur for a further four years yesterday.

Keane, who was made captain of the Republic of Ireland in midweek, signed a new contract with the club that ties him to White Hart Lane until the summer of 2010. The former Coventry and Internazionale forward had been expected to leave last summer after finding opportunities limited, with Everton and Celtic among the clubs rumoured to be interested in signing him.

But Martin Jol, Tottenham's Dutch coach, has used him in attack alongside Mido regularly this season at the expense of the England striker Jermain Defoe.

Keane, the Republic's leading goalscorer, highlighted the progress made at White Hart Lane under Jol as a key factor in his decision to commit himself to another long-term deal.

"It is something that has been going on for a while," the 25-year-old said. "I am just happy it is now signed and I can look forward to a good future with Tottenham. This is a club that is going places, I believe that and it is the reason why I signed here from Leeds in the first place. I had the feeling it was a club going in the right direction and I still believe this, especially with how the team are doing and the quality of players that have been bought in.

"I am flattered and delighted the club have given me the opportunity to sign. I am happy and have a lot of good friends here. Making the right decision was important for me and I feel I have done that."

Chris Hughton, Tottenham's assistant manager, was delighted for Keane, particularly after he was made captain of his country by the Republic's new manager, Steve Staunton.

"Robbie has grown in stature in the Republic squad and that's something we've also found at Spurs," Hughton said. "For such a young man, playing the amount of games and scoring the number of goals he has, it helped to gain him tremendous respect in the squad."

The former Spurs striker, Teddy Sheringham, has signed a new one-year deal with West Ham United. The 39-year-old former England international, who was a target for Spurs in January, is now set for a third season at Upton Park after joining on a free transfer and has scored 26 goals in 53 League and cup appearances.

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