'I would be massively interested' – Will Keane open to idea of permanent Ipswich Town switch
PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 01 February 2019
Will Keane says he is definitely open to the idea of signing permanently for Ipswich Town this summer – regardless of what division they find themselves in.
A member of Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup winning side of 2011 – alongside his twin brother Michael, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard – the 26-year-old’s career has been disrupted by a string of big injuries at crucial moments.
At Portman Road on loan from Championship rivals Hull City, he will find himself out of contract in the summer.
Asked about his future, he said: “When I left (Hull) it was made known from my side that I wanted to go and get games. I wasn’t getting that opportunity there for one reason or another. We’ve not really spoken about things beyond the summer.
“I’m not really thinking about it. Obviously I’ve got my time here now. I’m wanting to get as many games as I can and do as well as I can. That’s only going to put me in a better position come the summer.”
Keane scored on his full Ipswich debut, bagging the winner in a 1-0 home win against Rotherham, and is one of seven January recruits made by manager Paul Lambert.
Asked if a permanent switch to Suffolk would appeal, he said: “Yeah, definitely. I’ve been really impressed by the size of the club and all the facilities. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed being a part of so far.”
With Town seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table with 17 games to play, Keane was asked if would consider staying at Ipswich even if they dropped into League One.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “The manager has put the belief in me and I’ve really enjoyed working with him so far.
“I’ll have to weigh up the options in the summer and see what else is open to me. It’s still a bit early at the minute.
“But hypothetically, if the club was interested, then I would be massively interested too. We’ll see what happens.
“I feel like the way the manager wants to play gets the best out of me. One of my best attributes is getting the ball in and around my feet and being able to link up the play.
“The manager is massive on that. He drills that into us all the time, that we need to have the courage to get on the ball and make things happen and be creative. It’s nice to be given that freedom to go and play.”
He added: “It’s good to get settled at one place. I had that for a couple of years at Hull, but I was unfortunate to have the set-back with the injury.
“It’s just what’s the right thing at the right time. I’ve come here to get games. Even though I’m on loan I don’t feel that is the case. I feel like I am part of it just like all the permanent players. That’s how I’ve been made to feel.
“I’ll give my all here and then hopefully in the summer I’ll be getting set-up with a permanent deal somewhere.
“I’ve missed a couple of years through injury so hoping I’ll get that back in the latter stages of my career.
“With a good run of games there is no reason why I can’t show what I’m capable of doing.”
“You want to aim as high as you can and be ambitious. If you’ve not got big ambitions then you’re not going to go far.
“I’ve seen it happen before where strikers have had set-backs but, after a good run, have sprung themselves back up.
“I’m still only young and I’ve hopefully got plenty of years ahead of me.”
Keane started his first two games for Ipswich in the No.10 role just off of fellow new boy Collin Quaner, then led the line on his own during last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa.
“I feel like I can do the nine or the 10 role – I’ve done that throughout my career,” he said.
“The first couple of games I felt like I was getting joy in the No.10 role, then last weekend I was playing as the No.9 and probably didn’t get as much service. Playing (as the lone striker) away from home can be a tough role.
“Either role I feel comfortable. Whatever the manager wants me to do, I’ll do.”
Meanwhile, Keane – who represented England from U16 to U21 level – has confirmed reports that he has been approached by former Town boss Mick McCarthy to play for the Republic of Ireland.
“We’ve been in talks in recent weeks,” he said. “They are obviously aware I’ve got the Irish allegiance. It would be great to be selected.
“I had a conversation with Mick a couple of weeks ago. He said he would like me to declare. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for the last couple of years really.
“It’s good to hear that I’m on their radar. I’m happy to do that. Hopefully I can get in amongst it.”
Keane’s twin brother Michael has been capped five times by England.
“He actually represented Ireland at youth level and ended up going the other way and playing for England,” said Will.
“My dad’s from the Republic so it would be a great honour and it would be great to represent the family. I’m really looking forward to it.”