Thursday, March 30, 2023

Everton Linked With Premier League Defensive Rock: Why Koeman Has To Make It Happen

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Amit Mishra
Former Editor at The 4th Official. Liverpool and Schalke make my life miserable.

Everton have been the ultimate a Jekyll and Hyde example this season and just can’t seem to bring in the consistency to their game. With the transfer window approaching, the Toffees are likely to strengthen their side.

Of the many problems that have haunted the Merseyside club this season, their defence is one. Despite signing Ashley Williams in the summer, the problems have been persistent. Koeman has tried different formations and neither have worked out well for the gaffer.

In a bid to add more strength to their defence, they have been linked with Burnley defender Michael Keane. He has appeared in 19 games for the Clarets this season and has been a key factor in Burnley’s stout defensive performances against some of the bigger clubs.

He’s pretty young and could be a long term prospect at the club, which is why they are after him. Keane is pretty much a no nonsense defender and his impressive performances for the club in the Championship and now the Premier League have shown how much he has grown under the tutelage of Sean Dyche.

With Jagielka already at the dawn of his career, Everton need a solid replacement as Funes Mori simply hasn’t been convincing enough after signing a season ago. The Argentine has struggled to nail down a first team place and doesn’t seem like the ideal successor to Jagielka.

Keane is a well-built centre-back and has good recovery pace to deal with the agile attackers in the Premier League. For his young age, he has shown a good understanding of the game and hasn’t let his concentration slip in games which is a good trait. He’s also made as many as 7.8 clearances and 1.4 blocks per game. These are stats that you’d expect from a defender who plays for Burnley as they are defending most of the time.

His passing accuracy stands at 74.2% and perhaps that can be worked on. Koeman likes his sides to build up from the back and defenders with good distribution, like Koeman himself was in his heydays, are higher in the wanted list.

Keane only has a year left on his contract but transfer fees are often inflated in the January window, so the deal won’t come cheap. Burnley had rejected a bid from Leicester City in the summer and are likely to play hardball considering he’s a key player in their backline and replacements won’t be easy to get hold of.

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