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Keane has been the biggest surprise of Silva’s maiden season in charge of Everton

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)


Keane has been the biggest surprise of Silva’s maiden season in charge of Everton

Michael Keane struggled last season but has got his Everton career back on track this season and earned an England recall in the process.

Marco Silva was brought to Everton to lift the gloom around the club after the Sam Allardyce era and the shambolic spending of Ronald Koeman that proceeded it.

He has had mixed success but the Portuguese was charged with moulding the scattergun squad Koeman put together into an attractive, expansive football team with a clear vision.

At that stage, Michael Keane’s Goodison Park career balanced on a knife edge. He signed under Koeman for a fee BBC reported at the time was £30m, but struggled badly away from Burnley.

The theory went that Sean Dyche’s approach – which simplifies his central defenders’ jobs to protecting the penalty box with plenty of midfield protection – had made Keane look better than he actually was.

(Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

By extension, he had been left exposed by the more expansive style Everton want to play and there were fears that Silva wouldn’t be able to find room for him in his side.


The arrival of Kurt Zouma and Yerry Mina in the summer added to that, but Keane has responded in style and silenced the critics.

He has come along leaps and bounds this season, getting his confidence back and forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad once more by getting to grips with Silva’s style.

He’s got a lot to learn but Keane is the biggest surprise package of Everton’s season so far.

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