Giovanni Trapattoni hopes Robbie Keane’s lack of football works in his country’s favour.
The striker has made just two substitute appearances for Spurs this season and had been linked with a transfer deadline day move to Turkish side Besiktas.
The Italian said: “Robbie is mature. I have spoken to him about whether he should stay with his club, and I said to him, ‘Sure, your club need you’.
“He is balanced in his mind about football because he knows from many years in England, he knows the situation.
“But I am selfish and at the moment. For Ireland team, it is better he has played a few games.
“He is proud and I’m sure he can play like the Robbie Keane we know.”
Have something to tell us about this article?