- Apr 26, 2010
Will Keane thread.
Reserves boss Warren Joyce is thrilled with Will Keane's promotion to the England Under-21 squad.
The 18-year-old graduated to Stuart Pearce's side ahead of the match with Iceland on Thursday, coming on as a second-half substitute during the 5-0 win in Colchester, after Sunderland striker Connor Wickham was injured at Old Trafford last weekend.
Keane's elevation from the Under-19s for the first time represents real progress for the youngster, who was top scorer at Academy level last season. After shining in a 4-2 win at Carrow Road on 27 September, the teenager notched his fourth goal of the campaign in the last second-string outing against Everton.
"It's a massive step for Will," Joyce explained to ManUtd.com. "It's a great little taster for him and an opportunity for him to go and work with those players at that level and the staff at that level as well.
"Ever since the Norwich game really, he's carried on his good form away with England and hopefully he'll do well with the Under-21s.
"I do think we have some good players here who don't get that recognition if they're not playing league football. We're pretty confident here that Will could be out there doing it in the league but there's things we want him to develop in-house before he goes out.
"There's two games for the Under-21s [the second fixture is against Belgium on Monday] and it'll be good for the boy."
Keane has earned flattering comparisons with both of United's 1999 Champions League final scorers Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to his playing style but Joyce feels the forward needs to develop his own identity.
"He's very elegant on the ball and has traits like those two players," added Joyce. "He just needs to be himself and come out and be known as Will Keane.
"Both Sheringham and Solskjaer were fantastic strikers, technicians and goalscorers but they also had a ruthless streak in them. We're trying to bring that out in Will at the minute.
"He's great and a really nice lad off the field. We're trying to get him to be ruthless, show aggression to finish runs into the box and be more desperate for goals. I think these are the things that we've got to try to drill into him and I expect him to have a bright future."