New Owls recruit Will Keane is no stranger to South Yorkshire.
Three years and eight months have passed since the young Manchester United striker starred in the FA Youth Cup final. He registered three goals in the Red Devils’ 6-3 aggregate victory over Sheffield United, including a brace in the second leg at Old Trafford.
“I can remember it quite well; it was a great occasion for a lot of our boys and is probably one of the best memories to date in my football career,” he told The Star. “I scored at Bramall Lane and that gave me a taste of the passion there is for football in Sheffield.”
Following that breakthrough moment, Keane went on to make his one and only senior appearance for United in December 2011, appearing as a second half substitute in the 3-2 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers.
A year later, United coach Warren Joyce praised Keane’s meteoric rise to prominence, describing him as the club’s best reserve team player.
But three years ago, Keane suffered a serious knee injury while on England Under-19 duty, a problem which kept him sidelined for the best part of 16 months.
After regaining full fitness, Keane enjoyed loan spells with Championship sides Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers last season. He failed to score a single goal across 14 appearances with both clubs.
The 22-year-old had hoped to break into Louis Van Gaal’s first team plans at Old Trafford but he has slipped down in the pecking order behind fellow youngster James Wilson. It remains to be seen whether Keane has a long-term future with the Premier League giants.
Reading and bottom club Blackpool have reportedly been monitoring Keane’s situation in recent weeks. But Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray, who has been keen to strengthen his attacking options for some time, persuaded Keane to join his revolution.
Keane, who has represented England from Under-16s level to Under-21s, could make his Owls debut against Birmingham City next week.