Roy Keane has played down comparisons between returning striker Kenwyne Jones and Chelsea superstar Didier Drogba – for now. The 24-year-old made his first start of the season in Saturday's 5-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge in which the Ivory Coast frontman appeared as a substitute as he continues his own recovery from injury.
Jones, a £6m signing from Southampton two summers ago, made such an impact with the Black Cats in the Premier League last season that he was compared to Drogba. However, while Keane, who was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association last night in "relation to his conduct towards referee Martin Atkinson" at half-time at Chelsea, is confident he has a major talent on his hands, he knows he still has a lot to learn. He said: "To compare him to the Didier Drogbas of the world at the moment is a little premature. Drogba has done a lot more in the game. He's older, he's more experienced, had more international games, et cetera. But yeah, the people who work with Kenwyne think he has all the attributes to be a top, top centre-forward."
Jones has figured in his club's last three games after his recovery from the knee ligament injury he suffered on international duty against England in June.
Despite the summer arrivals of loan signing Djibril Cissé and El Hadji Diouf, the former Southampton striker has been missed, and his presence in the squad, despite the recent successive defeats by Stoke and Chelsea, has come as a major boost to the Teesside club.
Keane added: "Kenwyne has a hell of a chance in terms of potential – but then I think I have a chance, potentially, of being a very good manager. Potential is one thing, it's fulfilling it which is the important thing. It's up to us and the players around Kenwyne to help him along the way because we believe he might have a fantastic career ahead of him – and hopefully, that fantastic career will be at Sunderland."Reuse content