Comment: Hype will force Shaun out

Last updated : 07 January 2005 By Ben Collins
Keegan's been bigging him up for at least a year now, as is wont with many up-and-coming starlets, but very rarely due promising youngsters fulfill their potential as much as Shaun has.

For not only as he met his manager's expectations, but as he showed over the Christmas period, he has now surpassed them.

I now accept that Wright-Phillips is bound to leave City, to join a club whose ambition and potential are more closely matched to Shaun's talent.

However, I fear that will happen sooner rather than later.

I think Wright-Phillips is already good enough to hold his own at any club in Europe, but I agree with Keegan, that he should spend at least another 18 months with the Blues before moving on.

Although he is good enough now, I reckon that little bit longer at City could help him become a truly world-class player before he faces the top-level challenges that lie elsewhere.

Yet despite Keegan's concern, I can still see Shaun leaving in the summer at the latest.

For me, it's the same situation as Wayne Rooney. The hype and the rumours increase week-on-week with each spell-binding performance he makes, and eventually I think it will force City to sell.

Everton were put under the same pressure, and United thought they were the lucky beneficiaries, but I think it was too early. Don't get me wrong, he is still a fantastic player, but not the player he would have been had he prolonged his stay at Everton.

Thrust into the spotlight and the pressure of a big club, at times Rooney looks overwhelmed, and after scoring a screamer against, of all teams, Arsenal, I fear the same fate for our Shaun.