But the teenager felt the road to the Anfield first team was an almost impassable one back then for a young man trying to dislodge some of the biggest names in Europe.
Instead he opted for Molineux - and began a career which was to take in Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan, Leeds and Spurs, before the opening came again.
Keane, who will wear the No7 shirt, admitted: "As a young lad I didn't think coming to such a massive club as this was my best move.
"I thought if I went to Wolves there would be a better chance of first-team football straight away. I'm not saying it wouldn't have happened if I'd come to Anfield then, but I always held out hope that I'd come back and this is a real dream come true for me."