BT Sport pundit urges Koeman to drop Everton's Michael Keane after his Atalanta display

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger (L) and Arsenal legend Martin Keown (R) on the touchline during the Charity football match between Arsenal Legends and Milan Glorie at The Emirates...

Everton were thrashed 3-0 by Atalanta on Thursday night.

Andrea Masiello #5 of Atalanta celebrates the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League group E match between Atalanta and Everton FC at Stadio Citta del Tricolore on September 14, 2017...Andrea Masiello of Atalanta celebrates as Michael Keane (#4) looks on

Pundit Martin Keown has told BT Sport that he thinks Everton will have to drop Michael Keane following his performance against Atalanta on Thursday evening.

The Toffees headed to Italy for their opening game of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, and needed a response having lost 3-0 to Tottenham in the Premier League last weekend.

However, the same thing happened again in Italy, as Everton fell apart against Atalanta, conceding three first half goals in another disastrous defensive showing.

Everton's English defender Michael Keane (L) heads the ball under pressure from Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (R) during the English Premier League football match...Everton defender Michael Keane (L)

Andrea Masiello, Alejandro Gomez and Bryan Cristante all scored for Atalanta in the first 45 minutes, and that's how the scoreline stayed as Everton fell to a second 3-0 defeat in a row.

Ronald Koeman has major issues to resolve ahead of Everton's trip to face Manchester United this weekend, with the Toffees looking incredibly fragile at the back.

Koeman chose to bring in Maarten Stekelenburg in goal for Jordan Pickford against Atalanta, whilst Phil Jagielka and Mason Holgate also started having been in and out of the side this season.

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger (L) and Arsenal legend Martin Keown (R) on the touchline during the Charity football match between Arsenal Legends and Milan Glorie at The Emirates...

However, pundit Martin Keown has told BT Sport that he thinks Michael Keane has become a problem in the heart of the Everton defence, suggesting that Koeman must drop him just to protect him right now, instead starting Jagielka and Williams – a partnership which was exploited last season.

“Keane's just not getting tight, I don't know what it is with the player, but I think he's going to have to leave Keane out, because he's not doing anything with any real purpose,” said Keown. “What's the best partnership? Is it Jagielka and Williams and we take Keane out, just to protect him? They looked all over the place at the back, and there are real problems for Koeman to sort out,” he added.

Keane, 24, joined Everton from Burnley in a big-money move over the summer, having emerged as one of English football's top young defenders. Keane has so far received favourable reviews from Toffees fans, but Keown believes he should be taken out of the side after his display against Atalanta – and it remains to be seen whether Koeman agrees.

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