Michael Keane is off to a great start to his Everton career, picking up where he left off after a strong campaign for Burnley last term. The defence has been the strongest feature for the Toffees in the early part of the season, and with fellow new man Jordan Pickford, Keane has been a big reason why.
Former Evertonian Alan Stubbs, who knows a good center back when he sees one, has noticed Keane’s fine form. According to Stubbs -
“He is the future of Everton in that backline, with him being the young, up-and-coming one. If you look at the British centre-halves Everton could have signed, he was absolutely the best one out there. I think he was a great signing for Everton. He has settled in really well. And playing alongside Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams, two sound, experienced players, will help him as well.”
Gareth Southgate may have opted for Phil Jones and Gary Cahill yesterday against Malta, but that’s okay, England managers being obviously wrong is not a new phenomenon. Keane is better than either of them already and he’s only getting better.
Keane has been successful in 65% of his attempted tackles so far in this early season, and his 52% long ball completion rate is already a significant improvement over where he was last term. He’s simply been dominant in the air, winning 74% of his challenges.
We have a lot to be excited about with Keane moving forward, but Stubbs isn’t done playing in Goodison either, he’s set to feature in the upcoming Bradley Lowery charity game.
On the heels of one of the fastest paced transfer windows in Everton history, one of the brightest outcomes is proving to be the play of Michael Keane, and it’s being recognized throughout England. With Keane in front of Pickford, we have the heart of our defence for the next decade set and ready to go.