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May, 13, 2012

Keane: United don't need mass clearout

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane does not believe Sir Alex Ferguson needs to overhaul his squad this summer and insists that the club's young players "will have benefited from this season" even if they don't win the Premier League title.

• Fergie watches Dortmund's Kagawa
• Ferguson revved up for challenge
• Johnson: Premier League permutations

Keane, who won 13 major honours during his 12-year spell at Old Trafford, has never been shy about criticising the team and it was a scathing interview about United's youngsters in 2005 that led to the curtain coming down on his time at the club.

But although he concedes that there have been mistakes from United's less-experienced players this season, the Irishman does not think his former boss will wield the axe - pointing instead to the absences of Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher as key factors in United's struggle to match City this season.

"I still think City will do it and, when Alex Ferguson reviews the season, he'll know when the league was lost - the final 10 minutes against Everton when they conceded twice to draw 4-4," Keane said in his Sun column.

"There's no point in him going on about that to the players this week as he's got to try to lift them to get a result - but that's what it will have boiled down to.

"It doesn't mean there has to be a clear-out of players. In the past year or so, Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, John O'Shea, Wes Brown, Paul Scholes and Darron Gibson all went, although Scholes obviously came back.

"There won't be the same numbers going this summer because, for all the mistakes they may have made, the younger lads - David de Gea, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck - will all have benefited from this season.

"What you've got to remember as well is that United will have Nemanja Vidic, Tom Cleverley and, please God, Darren Fletcher back fit for next season."

With United failing to progress from the Champions League group stage, Ferguson has been tipped to make big changes ahead of the 2012-13 campaign, with Ji-Sung Park, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen among those expected to exit, while the Red Devils have been linked with a move for Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa.

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