Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle is hopeful skipper Robbie Keane can secure a move away from Tottenham to remain in peak condition.
Keane has barely featured for Spurs this season after dropping down the pecking order in the forward positions at White Hart Lane and has been linked with a move away from the club.
But a deal has failed to materialise with the 30-year-old now sweating on the thought of having to settle for a period on the fringes of first-team football until May.
Birmingham were keen to sign the striker, who has made just 10 appearances this season for Harry Redknapp's side, but were unable to reach a deal with the former Liverpoool man.
Ireland boss Giovanni Trappatoni recently declared that he wanted all of his squad to be playing regular first-team football, but Doyle felt that he should see Keane's situation as an exception.
"He's got 100 caps. He deserves a bit of leeway and rightly so," Doyle said.
"He himself will want to play just for his own sharpness and well-being and wanting to keep himself fit.
"Hopefully he gets a move and will be playing next week and he'll be very fresh to do well for us.
"At the end of the day he is our captain and record goalscorer. He hasn't played for a few months, but that doesn't change things, he's still a top player.
"Once he gets playing for whoever he goes to, he'll be flying.
"He will be fresh and keen to play well and do well. We all need to be playing, it does help."