By Paul Brown
Robbie Keane has not ruled out appearing in a Villa shirt again - after what he hopes will be the perfect swansong to his present loan from LA Galaxy with three points at Wigan tomorrow.
Keane goes back to the USA on Sunday after a cracking two-month loan spell in claret and blue.
The Republic of Ireland ace says he's "open-minded" about the possibility of donning the Villa jersey again for a similar temporary stint when the MLS season goes on hiatus in 12 months time.
He said: "I've really enjoyed it. It's been great.
"I have to say the club as a whole has been fantastic. Villa have looked after me really well and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
"I couldn't have wished to come to a better club than Villa. I thank everyone.
"I now look forward to Villa doing well this season."
On the possibility of returning, he continued: "Villa are a tremendous club and, as I said before, the people have been really great to me. You never forget things like that.
"At the end of the day I am a Galaxy player and looking forward to going back and playing for them.
"They've got big games coming up but you never know in the future. You can never rule anything out in football.
"Football is a strange game so you have to be open-minded about things but at the moment I am happy where I am and looking forward to playing for Galaxy and that's it at the moment."
Keane believes there's plenty to be positive about for Villa fans.
The star striker thinks the club's academy system is second-to-none as he hailed the young lions currently prowling around the first team.
He thinks the likes of Gary Gardner, Ciaran Clark, Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan have big futures ahead of them.
He added: "Gary has obviously got a bright future. He has come from a football background with his older brother Craig playing aswell.
"I have been very impressed with him. There's also Barry, Ciaran and Marc - these are young players who have a bright future ahead of them.
"Gards is a young kid, he's only 19, he's got everything in front of him.
"Villa have been renowned over the years for their academy system. They have always produced good young players.
"That's a compliment to the coaching staff, the likes of Kevin MacDonald who has brought these players through and the staff before Kev too, moulding these lads into good players who can come into the team and just be the same as anyone else."
Keane, for now, has his sights set on finishing off his two-month spell in style.
He added: "I look forward to playing my last game. Hopefully I can score a goal but more importantly than that hopefully the team wins and we get three points.
"The league is so tight at the moment that you get a couple of wins and you're right back up in the top 10.
"It would be nice to have a send-off with three points.
"Wigan are open and very attacking with a manager who likes to play football. I am sure it will be an interesting game."
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