BURNLEY new boy Michael Keane is ready to prove he is primed for the Premier League, after completing a late deadline day loan move from Manchester United.
The defender has spent much of the last two seasons away from Old Trafford on loan to Championship clubs Leicester City, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers, who were hoping to secure the services of the centre half again this term.
MORE TOP STORIES:
But after making his top flight debut under Louis van Gaal as a substitute in the Red Devils’ second game of the season at Sunderland, United felt Keane’s next move should be to a Premier League rival.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche met the 21-year-old in person late on Monday to persuade him that Turf Moor was the place to be.
And after a four-month loan was agreed just before the transfer deadline, Keane admitted he is relishing the opportunity.
“It was all a bit of a rush and hectic but we managed to get the loan deal done in the end,” he explained.
“I’m very happy about it, it should be a great experience for me in the Premier League so I’m really looking forward to it.
“The manager came down to speak to me on the day and I’ve been speaking to Ingsy (Danny Ings) as well about it, so I’m just ready to get there now and start training.
“I feel it’s the next step in my progression at that level.
“I think I’ve done pretty well in the Championship over the last two seasons when I’ve been out on loan there.
“But I’ve only played once in the Premier League before, so I’m looking forward to making that next step and playing some more.”
Keane has not yet been introduced to the squad, but has already met up with two of his new team-mates with both striker Ings and fellow deadline day arrival Nathaniel Chalobah on international duty with the defender for England Under 21s.
The trio have made club history as Burnley have never before had three registered players with the age group at any one time.
Keane hopes they can contribute to a strong finish to their UEFA U21 Championships group.
“It’s been a good campaign for us so far and we’ve only dropped points in one game so we’re looking to finish with two wins and two good performances to take into the play-offs,” said the 21-year-old ahead of tonight’s game in Lithuania.
The squad will then move on to Moldova for their final group game on Tuesday, having already topped the group, securing one of 14 places in the draw for the play-offs next Friday.
“Travelling away provides a different challenge for us, it seems like a while since we had an away game.
“At home, these teams sit back a bit more which makes it more difficult for us to break them down but when they’re playing at home they might be a bit more adventurous which means we might be able to get a few more goals.”
Like Ings, Keane qualifies for selection because he was under 21 when the group games began, and he is determined to see the job through to the tournament, hosted by the Czech Republic, next summer.
“Everyone’s fighting for their place and you can only prove that in training and the game so we’ll all be looking to do that,” he said.
The signing of Keane, Chalobah and George Boyd means the Clarets have the most homegrown players of all the Premier League clubs in their squad.