Grading Everton's summer signings - Michael Keane

Nikola Vlasic, Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford of Everton appalud the away fans after the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Everton at Amex Stadium on October 15,...

Michael Keane joined Everton in the summer after an impressive season at Burnley.

Everton's English defender Michael Keane (C) reacts at the end of the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on...

Time is a rare luxury in modern football, and new signings don’t get given too much of it before they are adjudged a hit or miss.

A couple of months on from the summer transfer window, HITC is grading the first impressions made by the new arrivals.

Here we take a closer look at Everton’s new defender Michael Keane.

It has not been an easy start for the former Burnley centre-back following his £25m move to Goodison Park, fee according to The Guardian.

Michael Keane of Burnley celebrates his goal with team mate Ben Mee during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Brentford at Turf Moor on August 22, 2015 in Burnley, England.

Keane has struggled without the comfort blanket of Ben Mee next to him, and his former Clarets teammate has immediately struck up a great partnership with James Tarkowski at Turf Moor.

Everton’s more ambitious method of defending under the sacked Ronald Koeman tested Keane’s game in ways that it wasn’t at Burnley - playing a higher line and working the ball out from the back.

The 24-year-old has also had to contend with the Toffees regularly switching systems from a back four to a back three, and a steep dip in form from Everton’s experienced defensive unit.

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United clashes with Michael Keane of Everton, Ashley Williams of Everton and Phil Jagielka of Everton during the Premier League match between Manchester United...

All of these factors will have made Keane’s settling in period more difficult, but the player does seem a million miles away from the strong and assured defender that made his England debut in March.

Caretaker manager David Unsworth is continuing to experiment with formations and team selection, so things may get worse before they get better for Keane, who thrived under the stability he had at Burnley.

Keane is yet to find his feet at Everton but is well worth persevering with.

Grade: C-

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