Could Michael Keane's Burnley to Everton switch have cost him his England place?

Gareth Southgate manager of England smiles as he inspects the pitch on the eve of the World Cup qualifying match against Malta at Ta'Qali National Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Valletta,...

The England international is struggling at Goodison Park, having established himself as a Premier League star with Burnley.

Michael Keane of Everton during the UEFA Europa League group E match between Everton FC and Atalanta at Goodison Park on November 23, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Michael Keane began the season as England's first choice centre-back, having just made the big move from Burnley to Everton.

Even as the Toffees faltered early in the season, Gareth Southgate appeared willing to stick with a still improving player in the national team.

But Keane's hold on that spot is slipping with every passing week and he must now be wondering if the switch to Goodison Park was the right idea after all.

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,...

The former Manchester United defender was awful in a three-man defence - Southgate's preferred system - against Arsenal at the weekend, as were Ashley Williams and Eliaquim Mangala.

When Everton manager Sam Allardyce then switched to a back four for the second half, trailing 4-0, Keane was the man to make way.

He no longer appears to be guaranteed a place at Everton - at least as long as he underperforms - and he must be looking enviously at Burnley, where a settled side in a well-drilled system are delivering on a weekly basis.

James Tarkowski of Burnley heads the ball during the Premier League match between Burnley and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on September 10, 2017 in Burnley, England.

James Tarkowski - Keane's Burnley heir - could well find himself in the England reckoning in the coming weeks, while Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles has also been tipped for a call-up.

There is great competition for places in the England defence, meaning Keane is going to have to earn his selection for this summer's World Cup.

Keane may well go on to enjoy a fruitful career on Merseyside, but right now it looks as though his decision to disrupt his development with a move away from Burnley could cost him.

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