Michael Keane reported for pre-season training with Manchester United on Wednesday morning, as new Reds boss Louis van Gaal checked in at the club’s Carrington base later that afternoon.
The England Under-21s defender spoke earlier this summer about how he was keen to make a good impression on the new Old Trafford regime, after spending time out on loan in the Championship over the last two seasons.
And given the number of players looking to make their United breakthrough this season, Keane is hoping he has an unlikely way in which he might get noticed by the Dutchman – his more traditional style of footwear.
“I’ve always worn black boots, ever since I was young,” explained Keane.
“I just don’t really feel comfortable in colours, I just like the [Nike] Tiempo boots.
“All the new boots that come out are just bright colours now, but I’ve stuck to the old boots.
“If I’m playing well in them, I just don’t see the need to change. I can’t be wearing bright yellow boots as a centre-half can I?”
Keane, 21, has since come under increasing pressure to change his boots with both his squad-mates coming up with a light-hearted nickname for him and sponsors Nike being increasingly keen for him to model their new footwear.
But the former Leicester City, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers loanee is staying loyal to his reliable original black boots.
“I get stick all the time, they [players] call me a referee, as the referee always wears black boots and I’m usually the only one wearing black boots from both teams on the pitch,” he laughed.
“I did give my brother [United striker Will] stick when he first changed [the colour of his boots] but I’ve just got used to it now.
“I wouldn’t say I’d never change, but Nike might force me and they’ve tried already.
“But hopefully I’ll get black boots back in fashion and I won’t need to!”