New signing Keane: ‘Burnley’s style of play suits me’

Michael Keane, front, gets challenged by Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (7) for the ball in the second half of a Guinness International Champions Cup soccer match (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

Michael Keane, front, gets challenged by Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (7) for the ball in the second half of a Guinness International Champions Cup soccer match (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

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England Under-21 international Michael Keane is looking forward to enhancing his Premier League experience at Turf Moor.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche’s 10th and final signing of the summer has made just five appearances for Manchester United with four of those awarded in Capital One Cup ties.

Having found his opportunities restricted under Sir Alex Ferguson and successor David Moyes, the defender opted for loan moves to Leicester City, Derby County and rivals Blackburn Rovers in search of first team action.

Now, after making his debut in England’s top tier in a 1-1 draw against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last month, he’s eager to prove his capability at this level.

“I came off the bench for my United debut a few weeks ago but looking realistically I don’t think I’d have got many more chances there,” Keane said. “When this opportunity came about I didn’t want to turn it down.

“Obviously I’m not going to get in to the team straight away because the centre-halves have been playing really well. I’ll need to be patient and when I get my chance I need to be sure that I’m ready to take it.”

He added: “First and foremost - I know I’m going to have to be patient - I want to get in as many games as possible and show everyone what I’m capable of. I want to help Burnley pick up as many points as possible.

“I’ve had a few good loans in the Championship and coming to the Premier League is the next step in my progression. Hopefully I can show everyone and prove to myself I’m good enough to play at this level.”

Keane, who played 90 minutes in games against Lithuania and Moldova for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions, was included on the bench by Louis Van Gaal in the 0-0 stalemate at Turf Moor before the international break. And he was impressed with what he saw.

“I’ve been impressed,” he said. “They played against United and I was on the bench. I thought they played really well that day and kept things nice and tight. They may be could’ve won. I know they’re a team that’s ambitious as well as being realistic.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of that team and helping them pick up a few wins. I trained for the first time today (Thursday) and it was really intense. That’s the best way to train really because it gets you ready for match day.”

Keane made his Rovers debut as the Clarets made history at Ewood Park last season and went on to help them to an 11-game unbeaten stretch. Understandably, he admits to having received the odd text message from players and staff at the Championship club.

“There hasn’t been anything at this end but I’ve had a few messages from the Blackburn players and staff,” he laughed. “They’re not too happy. I really enjoyed my time at Blackburn but I’m really happy now to be at Burnley and hopefully the fans take to me.”

The Old Trafford youngster, who claims to have modelled his game on Rio Ferdinand, has signed on loan until January but hasn’t ruled out an extension when the New Year arrives.

“When you’re younger everybody has idols and coming through the ranks Rio Ferdinand was mine,” he said. “I’ve had the chance to train with him and play alongside him a couple of times.

“He’s been really helpful in my career and I try to model my game on him. I like to bring the ball out and play from the back but I also want to be a good defender. I think Burnley’s style of play will suit me.”

Keane added: “It’s a loan move until January at the moment so we’ll have to assess the situation and see how things go. I’ll have to speak to both clubs to see what they think come January but anything is possible.”