Wayne Rooney has been appointed the latest Manchester United captain, following in the footsteps of legendary leaders like Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law.
Detractors may point to various disagreements between player and club, notably over wages, but manager Louis van Gaal noted Rooney's "great attitude towards everything he does" as one of the reasons to hand him the hallowed armband.
Commenting, Keys said: "Ask Rooney now and he'd probably say he regrets his transfer request at Old Trafford. Singular - request. Never mind what [Sir Alex Ferguson] said about him wanting away the season before last. That just didn't happen. Fantasy. Why? Well only Fergie knows the answer to that.
"As for the first time - [Manchester] City were in and certainly turned his head. I don't know if the money was part of his thinking, but I do know he wasn't happy about the direction the club was going in."
He continued: "I don't doubt Van Gaal will have them competitive this season. He knows what he's got isn't good enough. So Rooney was right [to question why there hadn't been large investments made in past seasons].
"One thing is for certain. Right now United need Rooney more than ever. He wears that jersey with fearsome pride.
"In a strange kind of way I think the criticism inspires him. But why not try 'encouragement' for a change. And see if we can't all share in two pieces of footballing history that he's edging ever closer to? It would be to both United's - and England's benefit."
Darren Fletcher has been named Rooney's deputy.
As for Wayne?
"He'll be named as England captain next," concluded Keys.