The most talented striker that Manchester United have in their academy is Will Keane. The England Under-21 international is lethal in front of goal. Keane can score with both feet, good in the air, links the play well and can execute the killer pass.
Keane is a Manchester boy. His twin brother Michael is also on Manchester United’s books. Both have been at United since a young age and both players love the club.
Will started impressing when he was 16. During his time with the Under-18s, Keane won the Milk Cup in 2009. in 2010, Keane top scored for the academy and earned himself the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year Award.
After finishing as top scorer in both seasons with the academy, Keane was promoted to the reserve side. After impressing for the reserve side on a regular basis, Sir Alex Ferguson rewarded Keane with his first Manchester United appearance against Blackburn Rovers on the 31st of December 2011. United were losing 3-2 and desperate for a goal. Sir Alex showed great faith in the youngster, bringing Will on for the last ten minutes as United tried to salvage something from the game.
Keane has been a main feature for England at many levels. He has played from the Under-16s up to Stuart Pearce’s Under-21 side. During his time with the Under-17s, Keane was a key player as England went on to win the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship.
After an impressive season with the reserves in 2011/12, Keane finished as the reserves top scorer with 19 goals. This season, Will was told he would be part of the first team. But whilst on duty for England Under-19s, Keane suffered a Cruciate ligament injury and will miss the whole of this season.
After hearing the news, Sir Alex Ferguson was devastated by the injury. He said on the club website,
“I’m very, very disappointed for the lad. He was in the first team squad next year.”
Reserve team manger, Warren Joyce has said that despite the serious injury, Keane could get some good out of it. With Will’s lean frame, his time spent in the gym could benefit him on his return.
“Will’s working hard in the gym.” He told ManchesterUnited.com
“He’s got to make the most of a bad time really and see how much he can develop his body in the coming months so he can come back stronger.”
With Keane being compared to Manchester United legend Ruud Van Nistelrooy by Paul Scholes, Sir Alex will be hoping that on his return to full fitness, Will can fulfil his potential.