Keane has become an established part of England’s squad, but he doesn’t often start for the Three Lions.
Southgate is taking a keen interest in the Everton centre-back though.
And the England boss has suggested that Keane needs to impress him in the most pressurised games, if he is to break into his nation’s starting line-up.
“It is going to be interesting to watch Michael with Everton [this season],” Southgate said.
“I think they are a very interesting team this year in terms of where they might finish in the league.
“We will have to assess in those bigger matches how he copes under intense scrutiny – and against those teams which cause you problems with their movement and pose different questions from the ones we might see here [in qualifying matches].”
Keane has improved massively at Everton since Marco Silva took charge.
The 26-year-old has generally been solid at the back so far this season too, although the Toffees have started to concede more regularly recently.
Everton have let in six goals in their last three matches, and they will need to tighten up if they are to match their lofty aims this term.
Keane could be in action for England later this evening, when Southgate’s side take on Kosovo.
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