Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United turn to Will Keane to ease lack of strikers

By Paul Hirst

Manchester United are planning to bring Will Keane into the first-team squad following his recall from a loan spell at Preston.

United cut short Keane's season-long loan at Deepdale last week. The 22-year-old striker scored two goals in 22 matches for the Championship club, but United manager Louis van Gaal has a shortage of strikers.

Keane returned to action for United in their Under-21 win over Tottenham on Monday, but could soon be playing first-team football for the club, who next face Sheffield United in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

When asked if Keane would now be pushing for a place in the first-team squad, United youth coach Tommy Martin said: "I think that's the idea of him coming back from Preston, that hopefully he'll be involved with the first team."

After being named United's Young Player of the Year in 2010, Keane made his first-team debut against Blackburn the following season, but has not played for the club since.

The academy graduate missed the 2012-13 season with a knee ligament injury and was loaned to Wigan, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday after his recovery.

Another player with his eye on a regular first-team place is Andreas Pereira, who scored twice in the 3-1 win over Spurs at Leigh Sports Village on Monday.

The 20-year-old Brazilian scored against Ipswich on his debut in the Capital One Cup in September, but has only played five more matches since.

The midfielder requested to play for the Under-21s on Monday to earn some game time.

Nick Powell, who has played the last three Under-21 games, was left out of the squad on Monday. The midfielder is expected to leave United on loan this month, but missed the game at Leigh through injury.

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