Everton have completed the signing of Michael Keane on a five-year contract from Burnley for a fee that could rise to a Club record-equalling £30million.
Keane made his England debut against Germany in Dortmund in March and had an outstanding season for Burnley on their return to the Premier League which earned him a nomination for the Professional Footballers’ Association Young Player Of The Year award in 2017.
Keane: “I’m absolutely delighted to be at Everton, a fantastic football club with passionate fans and a great tradition and I can’t wait to come into training tomorrow to meet all the lads.
“First and foremost, the manager was a big factor in me coming to the Club. He played in my position when he was a world-class player for a great Barcelona side and a great Dutch side and the style of football he likes to play will suit me, I believe.
“I watched a lot of Everton last season and I believe I really suit how the team likes to play. I feel like this is a great place to come and continue my development as a player.
“He’s convinced me that he can still improve me in certain areas of my game. I’m only 24 which, for a centre-half in the Premier League, is relatively young. I’ve still got a long way to go and I know this and hopefully under his guidance I’ll keep improving.
“You always want to play for a manager who believes in you. I wanted to come somewhere I was wanted by the staff, players and fans as well. I feel like Everton is the perfect match.
“I’ve also got to say thanks to the Chairman Bill Kenwright – he’s been absolutely fantastic getting the deal through. I also spoke with Steve Walsh, who I knew from my time at Leicester four or five years ago, and they really convinced me that this was the place to come and that Everton is the perfect club for me.”
Koeman: “Michael was high among the players we wanted to bring to Everton this summer and I’m delighted he is here at the Club.
“We knew there would be competition from other clubs but Michael believes in the ambition of Everton and what we want to do and this is the perfect moment for him to come.
“I believe there is much more to come from Michael and that’s what makes his signing really exciting for me – we will see his development as a player along with the progression overall within the Club.
“It’s another really positive sign of the direction the Club is moving in. He’s 24 years old, his best years are to come, he’s an England international, too, and I couldn’t be more pleased that he’s now a Blue.”
Player profile via Tom Ferguson.
Like many targeted by Ronald Koeman and his recruitment team, Michael Keane meets the criteria of building a squad for the long term.
Keane is 24 and standing at 6ft3, it’s no surprise the Stockport born lad is supreme in the air.
Facts bear that out – he won 149 aerial duels in the last campaign.
Excellent composure on the ball is a quality most modern defenders have and this is no different with Keane.
Koeman was a handy centre half himself. So I imagine he knows one when he sees one.
Who’s better to nurture a young central defensive prodigy than one of the finest in that position of his generation?
Keane rightly received massive plaudits last season for his form at the back for Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
He was nominated for the PFA young player of the year award, and rightly so. He was also shortlisted to feature in the prestigious PFA team of the year.
He narrowly missed out on both but it was a stunning breakout season for Michael in the proclaimed ‘best league in the world’.
He was immense in helping Burnley preserve their Premier League status while they also boasted one of the best home records in the country.
The former Manchester United ace has proved himself a real talent since leaving Old Trafford, topped with a couple of England caps.
It’s already clear to see, Keane is going to have a long Three Lions career.
The player is a perfect fit to replace an ageing Phil Jagielka in the Blues’ back line.
Like fellow England international Jordan Pickford, don’t look too much into the alleged price tag.
The potential of 10+ years quality service in the side is priceless.
And buying proven players from this league brings its own benefits.
There’s no delay while they find their feet in the big league. They just slot right in. Simple as that.
Up the Toffees.