Robbie Keane adamant Giovani dos Santos did not get a fair opportunity at Tottenham

Robbie Keane

The 35-year-old Irishman has revealed that he played a key role in bringing his ex-Spurs teammate to the LA Galaxy.

LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane believes new boy Giovani dos Santos did not get enough of a chance to show his worth during their time together at Tottenham Hotspur.

Keane, 35, was speaking to MLSsoccer.com ahead of tonight’s MLS clash against Western Conference rivals the Seattle Sounders at the StubHub Center, when Dos Santos will make his first league appearance for LA from the start.

The Mexican forward joined the MLS Cup holders from La Liga side Villarreal last month for around $7 million [£4.5 million] following a long-running pursuit of his signature, before going on to score on his club debut in Thursday night’s 5-1 CONCACAF Champions League victory over Trinidad & Tobago’s Central FC.

Keane himself was rested for the game but Seattle’s visit will give him the chance to line up again with his former teammate for the first time since Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham United in September 2010.

The pair were first united at Spurs in 2009 when the Irish striker returned to White Hart Lane following a six-month spell at Liverpool and, with Dos Santos struggling to adapt to life in England at the time, he took a special interest in mentoring his fellow attacker, offering him tips on the training ground and helping him with the language.

His efforts proved in vain in the end, as the ex-Barcelona prospect would manage just three goals in 33 total appearances for the club before heading back to Spain to join Real Mallorca in August 2012, but Keane is adamant that the club did not give him enough opportunities to impress.

“He was only [19 when he arrived at Tottenham], just a kid,” Keane said of Dos Santos, who also had loan stints at Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander, respectively, during his Spurs spell.

“He didn't get the opportunity that I felt he should have at times and, obviously, he did as well, but that's the way it goes. I think things like that can sometimes help players, help them mentally.”

In the meantime, Keane and Dos Santos have kept in contact since their time together in north London and the reigning MLS MVP, who left Tottenham for LA in August 2011, had a crucial role in convincing his former protégée to make the move across the Atlantic.

“We always spoke at length that eventually he would like to come here, and, of course, I was involved in trying to bring him here,” added Keane. “Look at the season he had last year [at Villarreal]. He had, what, 16 goals? [12]. He was one of the best players in [La Liga]. He's a fantastic player; we're lucky to have him.”

Dos Santos endured an underwhelming 2014-15 season at Villarreal, recording just one goal and three assists in 26 La Liga games, but, as Keane recalls, he did establish himself as one of the league’s star performers during the previous campaign, netting 12 times.

Aged 26, he is now entering the prime of his career and, as one of the starts of the Mexico national team, is bound to prove a major hit among the Latino population of Southern California.

The Galaxy’s second big-name summer signing after Steven Gerrard, his arrival will certainly give their chances of claiming a fourth MLS Cup title in five seasons another enormous boost.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch