Roy Keane has hit out at the over-hyping of young English players in the Premier League. According to the former Manchester United captain, people often get ‘carried away’ with their praise.
Keane was guest in the Sky Sports studio ahead of Chelsea vs Everton and Manchester United vs Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
The former Ireland midfielder was critical of, what he sees as, the constant narrative of pushing young English players too soon in their careers.
“The only downside is that when an English player bursts onto the scene, everyone just gets carried away with them.
“‘He’s the answer to this,’ be it the young kids at Chelsea or Everton, they’re the answer for Gareth Southgate (and England), give these boys a chance.”
“I think if you’re English and you can trap the ball, everyone thinks you’re a superstar. Let them learn their trade.”
Keane was challenged as to whether or not it’s the same with promising Irish players, if they are labelled ‘the next Roy Keane’ as soon as they burst onto the scene.
“No I don’t think so,” he said.
“I think it’s more so regarding English players. It’s not the players’ fault, it’s more the media. As soon as a player from England comes through the scene everyone just gets too carried away with them.
“I’m on about players, again I’ll go back to it, just trapping the ball. People get too giddy, let these players learn their trade and mature and get one or two hundred games under their belt and not all of a sudden say ‘they’re the answer for England.’ Do me a favour.”
Clip via Sky Sports.
Keane though did take the time to praise one young Premier League midfielder in 18-year-old Chelsea prospect Billy Gilmour.
The Scottish midfielder was handed his first start in the Chelsea midfield by Frank Lampard and put in an impressive and assured display as they defeated Liverpool 2-0 to reach the quarter-final of the FA Cup.
The young midfielder’s man-of-the-match winning performance has earned him widespread acclaim throughout the week. Keane was particularly impressed by his quality.
“His performance the other night was fantastic,” began the former Man United captain.
“I was sitting at home I had my cup of tea and a bit of chocolate in front of me, I didn’t have the volume on, but as the game started I literally got out of my seat which I very rarely do and I thought, ‘who is this kid in midfield?’
"I didn't have the volume on. I didn't want to listen to the commentators." 🤣
A jovial Roy Keane is full of praise for Chelsea's 18-year-old Billy Gilmour…
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 8, 2020
“There are certain traits you want from a midfielder, you want quality on the ball, footballing intelligence, composure. He had everything.
“It was one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long long time. The downside for the kid now is that he’s got to back it up.
“He’s started so well and Frank (Lampard) has made the point there it’s ok coming in and doing well he’s got to keep that up now.”
Keane was then quizzed as to whether there was a moment in the game from Gilmour he felt, in particular, caught his attention. But the former Irish midfielder explained that it was the consistency of his quality which made him stand out.
“Just his general play, the way the game started, I thought he was like a world-class player, that’s what he looked like straight away.
“I thought he was one of their experienced lads and I then I just kept a close eye on him for the rest of the game and everything he done throughout the game had quality written all over it.”