Are Everton discovering why Michael Keane did not make the grade at Manchester United? It may be a little too early to write off the talented centre-half but the former Burnley star has certainly not lived up to expectations, or his price-tag, since moving to Goodison Park in the summer.
The Toffees paid an initial £25 million for Keane this summer, per The Guardian, after a season in which he emerged as one of the nations’ top young prospects and earned a maiden England cap.
Though the 24-year-old, like fellow big-money summer signings Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen, has been a major disappointment in the first few months of his Everton career. Keane has been a regular in an Everton defence that conceded 18 goals in nine Premier League games.
And the Stockport-born defender, sold by Man United to Burnley in 2014, looked out of his depth once again as The Toffees were thumped 5-2 at home by Arsenal on Sunday, a result which cost manager Ronald Koeman his job.
Just to rub salt into the wounds, former club Burnley have coped admirably with the departure of arguably last season’s standout performer. The Clarets are eighth in the table, ten places above Everton, and have conceded half as many goals.
And this is without spending a single penny of the £25 million received from Keane’s departure on a replacement centre-half. Instead, James Tarkowski has stepped up to the plate – and shone as one of the real surprise performers so far in the 2017/18 season.
While Keane has toiled with The Toffees, Tarkowski has won more aerial duels (4.8), made more clearances (9.3), and blocked more shots (1.8) per game than any other player in the Premier League - including the player that kept him out of Burnley's XI last season.
|Aerial Duels Won per Game||Total Clearances per Game||Blocks per Game|
On current form, it seems only a matter of time the former Brentford talent follows Keane into Gareth Southgate’s England squad.