Sheffield Wednesday: Keane backed to emulate top striker

Striker Will Keane.
Striker Will Keane.
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New arrival Marnick Vermijl is tipping his Owls teammate Will Keane to be a big hit at Hillsborough, comparing the striker to former Manchester United player Dimitar Berbatov.

Keane, on loan from United until the end of the season, is set to spearhead Sheffield Wednesday’s attack at fifth-placed Ipswich tonight, having notched his first professional goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Cardiff City.

The 22-year-old, who spent time on loan at Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers last season, salvaged a point for the Owls, blasting in a 75th minute penalty. Vermijl, recruited from United on transfer deadline day for an undisclosed fee last week, is acutely aware of Keane’s capabilities.

He told The Star: “I was happy Will got on the score-sheet against Cardiff. He’s a good friend of mine.

“I know how much that meant to him and how important it was for him to get that first goal. Hopefully he will now kick on from that.

“Will is hard-working but he’s got that flair in his game. At Manchester United, his nickname was Berbatov. We always called him that because his touch was exactly the same as Berbatov’s!”

Keane suffered a serious knee injury in 2012 which hampered his progress but Vermijl believes the forward is beginning to rediscover his best form.

“People were saying he was the next youngster to get in the United team but he then got had the setback with the injury,” said Belgian defender Vermijl. “Before that, everyone was speaking very highly of him.

“It takes a bit of time to comeback from an injury like that but I think this season, from the games I’ve played with him at Manchester United and seeing him in training, that he’s back to his old self.”

Keane influenced Vermijl’s decision to move to Hillsborough on a permanent basis.

“He played a big part,” he said. “I spoke to Will every day on the phone and he told me nothing but good things.

“He said it would be a good step for me. It made my decision easier because I am at a very important stage of my career.

“It is a big help that Will is here. He told me about how he has enjoyed it and the size of the club and introduced me to the team.”

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