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Why Will Keane’s Impending Deal Points To Manchester United’s Continued Faith In Its Academy

According to reports emanating from Goal.com, Manchester United look set to tie England U21 International William Keane to a long-term deal despite interests from Chelsea, Tottenham and both Milan clubs, thus extending his stay with twin brother Michael at Manchester United.

The 2009/2010 winner of the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year Award was en-route the first team after bagging 16 goals in 17 appearances for the U18’s in the 2010/2011 season and 14 goals in 22 appearances for the reserves in the 2011/2012 season before a knee ligament injury curtailed his progress forcing him to miss the entire 2012/2013 season, and has since endured unsuccessful loan spells at Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers.

However, Manchester United, a club which has always prided itself on its continual commitment to promote from its youth ranks as evident in the club being regarded as the English club with the best record of producing academy players who ply their trade across Europe’s top divisions, will see this as a step in the right direction after the loss of Paul Pogba to Juventus in 2012 who has since grown in leaps and bounds.

The Club’s desire to promote youth has never been more enunciated than in the rise of the Class of ’92, who along with Eric Cantona established Manchester United’s dominance during the early years of the Premier League, all of whom have gone on to lead distinguished careers particularly Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville who are now assistant coaches at Manchester United and England respectively.

Since then, Manchester United’s conveyor belt has not ceased to produce talent, even though there has been a dearth of top quality talent in the years following the emergence of the class of ’92 with only Wes Brown, Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea amongst a notable few making the transition to the first team and even at that they were restricted to bit part roles.

Most of the players who failed to make the grade at Manchester United have since gone on to star for other clubs, a number of whom include: Darron Gibson, Ryan Shawcross, Ron Robert Zieler, Phil Bardsley, Kieran Richardson, Chris Eagles, Ravel Morrison, Frazier Campbell, Josh King, Robbie Brady and Ryan Tunniclife.

Manchester United has splashed the cash in recent seasons with a total outlay of approximately £140m on Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Luke Shaw but have also been quick to fast track Adnan Januzaj, Tom Lawrence and James Wilson to the first team, all of whom have impressed with their performances, particularly Januzaj who was nominated alongside Wayne Rooney and David De Gea for the Manchester United Player of the year award.

Manchester United’s future looks brighter in recent years with the progression through the ranks of Ben Amos, Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Tom Lawrence, James Wilson, the likes of Andreas Pereira and Ben Pearson who cannot wait to climb the rungs to Manchester United’s first team and Will Keane’s impending deal, all these coupled with the arrival of a manager with a track record of developing young players everywhere he has been, our youngsters can be guaranteed that there will be no shortage of opportunities.

We may never see the likes of the Class of ’92 again, but Manchester United will never stop giving youth a chance.

Written by Michael Sogbolu

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