Gary Neville has reacted to news of a potential move back to Manchester United for Burnley defender Michael Keane.
The Englishman, after managing just five senior appearances in four seasons at Old Trafford, moved to Burnley in January 2015 and quickly established himself as a first choice option under Sean Dyche and even secured a place in the England side earlier this year.
And Neville, whilst noting that moving to Old Trafford would be a considerable step-up for the Englishman, was quick to praise his exceptional work rate and desire to improve.
“I agree. He gets cuddled at Burnley. The two full-backs come tight, it’s a tight midfield four, very compact, so you very rarely get exposed,” he said.
“I think that goal he conceded against Lukaku, I wouldn’t expect him to make that kind of mistake. But he’s still young. To make his England debut is a great achievement.
“He’s a great type, a great lad. He will be the type that’s a student. He will watch videos of himself in the week, he will want feedback, he will look after himself, he will be professional. Everything you want from a football player.”
United included a clause in the £2m deal for Keane entitling them to 25 per cent of any sell-on fee, meaning a return to Old Trafford would come at a reduced price.
Then again, such financial margins will matter little in the long run if Keane can fulfil his superb potential over the next few years. He has, as Neville notes, thrived in an environment that places emphasis on defensive solidity, and the expansive style of United’s play could take some getting used to, but he will take great confidence from a season that saw him make his debut for the national side and impress many with his rounded, technically adroit style at Turf Moor.