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18th Feb 2017

Rio Ferdinand tips former Manchester United youth player to go back to the club like Pogba

"You look at the likes of Pogba. He's gone away and come back now and become a huge star. He could do that himself.”

Robert Redmond

Rio Ferdinand is predicting another player Manchester United let go to come back to the club.

Paul Pogba returned to Old Trafford last summer for a world record transfer fee, four years after departing for Juventus in acrimonious circumstances.

Ferdinand reckons another former United youth player has proved himself good enough to play for the club since leaving.

Michael Keane left United for Burnley in 2014, after making just one Premier League appearance for the club.

The central defender has since excelled for Burnley, and is likely to be the subject of transfer bids in the summer. Ferdinand believes he has proved he is good enough to play for United, and said he could potentially return to Old Trafford.


“He’s a sponge. 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,” Ferdinand said on BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday evening.

“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.

“I think the moment he found out he was going to leave Manchester United, listen every kid’s dream in that area is to play for Manchester United, his family is a Manchester United family, 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.

“He’s a clean passer of the ball, and at the top end of the game, that is worth a huge amount.”

Keane, who earned his first call-up to the England squad last October, said that he “always felt” he would play for United

“The coaches used to say to me that sometimes they would send other players out on loan to help them get a move but that was never the case with me,” the 24-year-old told the Guardian.

“They saw it as experience for me because they thought I was good enough to get in the first team when I came back. But then obviously Sir Alex (Ferguson) left and it all changed.”

The defender was part of the United team that lost 4-0 to MK Dons in the League Cup in August 2014, and was sold by Louis van Gaal soon after. Of the team that played that night, only David de Gea remains at Old Trafford.

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