Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Michael Was So Keane to Prove Doubters Wrong

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Michael Was So Keane to Prove Doubters Wrong

Article excerpt

MICHAEL Keane would not have been a candidate to return to Old Trafford and bite United on the backside after letting him go.

But at the end of the month the 23-year-old will be back against the Reds possibly with a full England cap and a price tag that has surged ten times since United pocketed Pounds 2.5m from Burnley in January last year.

The centre-half is likely to face-off against his Reds' 2011 FA Youth Cup winning team-mates Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard on October 29 when the Reds host Burnley in the Premier League.

The Stockport-born defender's stock has rocketed since former United boss Louis van Gaal shipped him out on loan to Turf Moor in the wake of the 4-1 MK Dons League Cup debacle.

He made his loan debut for Burnley two years ago this week against Leicester City in the Championship, and made his move permanent three months later.

His first return to Old Trafford came in February last year soon after his Turf Moor move was sealed, but his status will be much higher this time around.

The Reds reject is now in Gareth Southgate's full England squad and Chelsea want him and are willing to pay Pounds 25m, according to reports.

But the fact United didn't inject a sell-on clause in the transfer deal when they sold him to Burnley said it all about the fear he might come back to haunt them.

Former United Under-18s boss Paul McGuinness was Keane's Youth Cup coach and says the defender's career chart is an example to all wannabes - but also highlights how tough it is to make decisions on young footballers' futures.

"At 15 and 16 Michael was not the most talented of the group. Quite a few people didn't see a lot in him," McGuinness told M.E.N. Sport.

"He was ungainly and couldn't control his limbs and because of that his technique wasn't as good as others. When you are like that your legs, hips, pelvis and torso don't work together. Also, while you are growing you can develop back problems.

"But when you have the experience of seeing young players go through that, you know it can right itself. …

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