ROY KEANE has joked that he and his team-mates had concerns about Gary Neville's ability when the defender came through Manchester United's academy.
Neville was famously part of the Class of '92 – which featured club legends including Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham.
He was handed his debut by Sir Alex Ferguson in 1992, and would go on to become first-choice right-back in the 1994-1995 season.
But, before that, Keane said of Neville "he won't last" when he was handed his opportunity.
The Irishman added, though, that it was important for big clubs to bring players through from the academy.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Keane said: "We were doubtful honestly when Gary came along, he won't last. Becks, Schoesly, Giggs, the rest of them had a chance. But no, it's great for the club to have lads come through the academy.
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"We've seen with the Arsenal lads, the fans can identify with them, particularly if they're local lads. And the beauty of lads like Gary and the lads coming through is when you get an opportunity, it's about taking it.
"A lot of the lads do get a chance but don't take it. But these lads at Arsenal have done it, obviously Gary and the other lads at United.
"It's so important for the club, recruitment is vital, you have to go out and spend big money, but to get young lads through and do so well is very nice to see."
Neville would go on to play 602 games for the Red Devils – winning eight Premier League titles, and the Champions League twice.
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In the last six years of his career at Old Trafford, he would captain the side.
Former boss Fergie said of Neville when he announced his retirement during the 2010-2011 season: "Gary is an example to any young professional, hard-working, loyal and intelligent. His impact on the club in general has been huge.
"His presence in the dressing room and leadership qualities have been an asset to me as a manager. As a young boy he had the will and determination to succeed as a footballer and that character remained with him throughout his career."
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