Manchester United youngster Will Keane recently scored a hat-trick for the club’s under-21s in a performance that many hoped would signal his return to form.
In truth, to call him a ‘youngster’ now could be deemed incorrect, when you consider that Keane is now 21 and teenagers are breaking through at Premier League clubs with impressive regularity. But the United forward is still young, and he is making up for lost time after a serious injury setback that has robbed him of the chance to play for much of the last few years.
Keane’s hat-trick and recent contract extension suggest United could finally be on the verge of seeing the striker they knew they had all along – a natural finisher who was the big thing at United…before the likes of James Wilson and Adnan Januzaj took that particular crown.
Speaking to MUTV in an extensive interview later published by United’s official website, Keane said, “I’m a man now and I’ve got to use that when I go out in the league and play.
“It’s such a big part of the game now, the athleticism of all the players, especially as a striker playing up front on your own. You’ve got to look after yourself.”
The number of forwards now fighting for a starting berth at United could worry Keane. After all, he has seen Radamel Falcao join Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie at Old Trafford while Wilson is clearly and rightfully going to get chances despite his age.
But Keane can still make it at the club that have stood by him through his injury heartbreak and it seems he is now approaching his best.
“I feel good,” he said. “I know I’m back and I feel fully fit. I am looking forward.”
They are wise words and United could well benefit from a player who knows how lucky he is to be doing what he loves.