Everton have been the ultimate example of a Jekyll and Hyde side this season. While Koeman had a fantastic start at Merseyside, they had an interlaid spell between now and the start of the season where their performance levels dropped and the gaffer was criticised vehemently. But, he’s managed to turn around the results and after spending good money in the first few weeks of the window, they could potentially challenge for a Europa League spot.
To strengthen his team’s credentials, Koeman aims to bolster his defence in the last few hours of the transfer window by roping in Burnley’s sensational youngster Michael Keane who has been under the limelight after some solid displays at the heart of the Burnley defence. One might applaud the abundance of talent in the Toffees’ attacking and midfield but their backline still lacks quality. Now that Phil Jagielka is deemed as a shadow of his former self, a leadership oriented signing is also the call of the hour.
The 24-year-old has been a revelation for Burnley, winning 13 tackles with a success rate of 52%, has made 48 interceptions, 159 clearances and 30 blocks, which are scintillating figures for a centre-back. Keane tackles impeccably, hardly puts a foot wrong, passes the ball pretty well from the back, is an inborn leader and without any shadow of a doubt, Everton can reap instant benefits from the talented defender if they can successfully acquire the services of a player like him. Koeman’s attacking setup is all set, and the solidification of their defence is what holds of paramount importance at the moment.
Moreover, the former Manchester United man is well-built with a 6ft 3in frame, is dominant in the air, has a huge level of understanding of the game and is versatile enough to be stationed on the right-hand side of the defence as well. He ticks almost all the boxes of a superb central defender and has been one of the reasons why the Clarets’ defence have been resilient of late.
With age on his side, a move to Goodison Park will enhance the calibre of the player and he can be a perfect replacement for Jagielka who has had a brilliant run at Merseyside but is visibly at the dusk of his career. Now that there isn’t much time left, Koeman shouldn’t ponder too much and get hold of Keane in order to ensure they challenge the top six sides in the remainder of the season.
Stats via Squawka
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