Will Keane
Will Keane has scored three times since linking up with Sheffield WednesdayGetty

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray has backed striker Will Keane to become an important player at Manchester United when he returns to Old Trafford.

Keane, 22, joined Wednesday on loan in January until the end of the season having failed to force his way into manager Louis van Gaal's first-team plans this term.

After missing the entire 2012-13 season with a knee injury, the striker's career stalled somewhat amid disappointing loan spells at Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers.

His move to Hillsborough has however seen the England Under-21 international rediscover his goalscoring touch, having netted twice in his last three games for the Championship side.

And manager Gray believes Keane's skill set will provide him with all the tools necessary to carve out a career back at his parent club.

"Will is a technically a very, very gifted boy," Grayson said after Keane scored his third goal for Wednesday in the 2-0 win over Middlesbrough on 28 March.

"He just needs to get a little more ruthless on the physical side. He's gone from playing regular under-21 football and now he is playing against strong men.

"It wasn't a fluke goal Will got. He anticipated it would come off the post and he gambled. That is why he's going to be a top player and is at a top club in Manchester United.

"Will has got a good footballing brain. His touch is unbelievable and it will buy him an extra second. He makes good runs, reads situations well and tends to pick out the right options. That goal will give him confidence."

With uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures of Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie at Old Trafford, Keane could still get the opportunity to contend for a first team role at his parent club.