Man United youngster Michael Keane reveals Rio Ferdinand admiration

The England under-20 defender has claimed that Ferdinand was his idol growing up.

Manchester United’s defence is set to be significantly changed next season, with long-term centre-half partners Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both leaving the club.

Although a big-name signing is expected to bolster the squad, there may well also be a chance for young stars such as Michael Keane to push for first-team inclusion.

The up-and-coming defender is currently on international duty with England under-20’s and has admitted that Ferdinand is a player that he is aspires to be like.

“When I was young I always had Rio’s name on the back of my shirt,” Keane told The Daily Mail.

“Rio was my idol when he first joined United and he still is. Luckily, I’ve managed to train with him for a few years. He talks to everyone.

“It’s sad to see him go. He was a great person to have around and he was great with the young lads. He speaks to everyone and always gives you advice. He talks to me about positional things.

“If I make a mistake in a game, he will ring me and tell me what I should do better. He wants to give you feedback. It was a surprise at first but now I just see him as a friend. I know I can go to him whenever I want.

“Rio’s a really nice guy. Sometimes footballers get those type of reputations but he’s not like that at all. Behind the scenes there’s no one better to have around.

“Can I take his shirt? I hope so. That’s the dream. I still think I’ve got a chance of making it at United. While I still think I’ve got that chance I will stay and try to prove myself.”

Centre-half competition for Keane includes Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling.

New United manager Louis van Gaal is a known advocate of young players and as such Keane will hope to get a chance to impress.

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