Keane backed to 'do a Pogba' at Manchester United by Ferdinand

Michael Keane Burnley
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The Burnley defender has been heavily linked with a return to Old Trafford, two years after he was deemed surplus to requirements by Louis van Gaal

Rio Ferdinand believes Michael Keane is capable of making a similar impact to Paul Pogba if he returns to his roots at Manchester United.

The Burnley centre-half is being heavily linked with a big-money move, having proven himself on a Premier League stage.

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A switch to Old Trafford has been mooted, two years on from the completion of a permanent transfer to Turf Moor.

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Louis van Gaal sanctioned that sale, having previously agreed a loan deal, with the Dutchman seeing no place for Keane in his plans.

Times have changed, though, and former Red Devils defender Ferdinand is convinced that the 24-year-old would be a success if he were to follow Pogba’s lead from last summer and complete a career circle.

Michael Keane

The former England international, who was at United as Keane was progressing through the youth ranks, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He likes to ask questions, he likes constructive criticism and that’s a great attribute to have, to be there, to look at your game in detail and try and improve.

“He’s always wanting to improve, whether it’s nutrition, whether it’s physical, whether it’s actual working on your game after training. He was always wanting to learn and understand more.

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“I think the moment he found out he was going to leave Manchester United - every kid’s dream in that area is to play for Manchester United - so to leave the club was a huge wrench for him.

“But it allowed him to go and spread his wings and bloom really and become the player he is now. At Manchester United he wasn’t afforded that opportunity, for whatever reason.

“You look at the likes of Pogba; he’s gone away and come back now and become a huge star. Michael Keane, he could do that himself.”

Michael Keane

Keane, meanwhile, has insisted that he has no regrets at having left United, with it clear that he was not going to get the opportunities he so desperately wanted.

He told The Guardian: “I didn’t really want to go permanently at first and pushed for it just to be a loan to begin with.

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“Burnley were in the Premier League and I thought that if I did well it would help my chances of proving to Louis van Gaal that I was good enough. And I did do well. It just wasn’t enough [for Van Gaal].

“So I ended up signing permanently and I was really happy to do that because I’ve loved it ever since.

“I do feel sometimes that things could have been different [at United] but I don’t regret anything because the move has definitely been the best thing for me.”