Manchester United Must Move For Michael Keane In The Summer And Here’s Why
Michael Keane has become a hot prospect in the transfer market. The 24-year old Burnley defender is on the shopping list of all the top Premier League clubs in the summer window.
Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, fellow Merseysiders Everton and former club Manchester United are all interested in the services of the centre-back who recently earned his first international call-up.
But according to latest reports, it is Jose Mourinho’s United that are the overwhelming favourites to bring back Keane in the summer. The reports also claim that United will get the defender for £15million and not for £20million as valued by the Clarets, owing to a sell-on clause that the Red Devils inserted when they sold the player back in 2015.
Keane has become a vital player at the Turf Moor since he completed the move. The 24-year old was the cornerstone of their defence in the EFL Championship last season, on which Burnley were to build their bid for promotion.
Having made it to the big league, the defender has continued to make waves this season. Keane has been one of the best centre-halves of the league this campaign, which has led him to being nominated for the PFA Young Player Of The Year Award.
He has made 37 appearances this season across all competitions and has chipped in with 2 goals and an assist as well. The England international has not missed even one of the 33 league games that Burnley have played, which is a testament to his fitness levels and his discipline at the back. Keane has also won the most aerial duels (124) by any defender in the league this season.
Manchester United have been a fairly solid defensive unit this season. Mourinho’s side have just conceded 24 goals in 31 league games this season – the second-best defensive record in the English top tier, behind Tottenham who have let in 22 only strikes.
However, the Red Devils have been blighted by injuries at the back, constantly throughout the course of the season. Eric Bailly missed a quite a few games in the early parts of the season. Phil Jones had looked like he was back to his best, putting behind all the injury issues that have hampered him throughout his career, but he picked up another injury and is unlikely to feature again this season. Chris Smalling has had intermittent spells on the sidelines as well.
Marcos Rojo was stretchered off earlier this week in United’s 2-1 win over RSC Anderlecht in the UEFA Europa League at the Old Trafford. While the extent of damage is yet to be determined, the injury looked quite bad, leaving United thin at the back for the most crucial stage of the season.
Mourinho wants to address this issue for the upcoming term and has identified Keane as the ideal solution. While that would certainly mean someone from the current squad will be shown the doors in the summer, Keane has the quality to replace them and improve the Red Devils backline.