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Michael Keane finally lives up to £30 million price-tag

Summer signing Keane has struggled since joining from Burnley.

Mathew Nash

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Everton took on Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby yesterday afternoon.

The result reflected what was a difficult game, with the teams sharing the spoils in a 0-0 draw.

Everton put in a drab first-half display before improving late in the second-half.

It was a game to forget, however, as it never truly sparked into life.

But one player who will come out of the game feeling very happy is Everton defender Michael Keane.

Last summer Everton spent a fee, reported by the BBC Sport, to be in the region of £30 million to sign Keane from Burnley. However, it has not been a successful transition so far.

Exclusive: Michael Keane – Big Sam, Wayne Rooney’s influence and World Cup dreams

The centre-back failed to find his best form early on at Goodison Park and he has subsequently struggled with injuries.

Ultimately, this has led to his performances becoming a topic of discussion among the Toffees fans, with many unimpressed with the club’s £30 million outlay.

However, against Liverpool, the 25-year-old put in perhaps his best performance in an Everton shirt.

Firstly, he did the basics well.

Keane was solid defensively and excellent in the air against the imposing Dominic Solanke. He looked incredibly alert. Much more so than he has in the past for Everton.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Then there was another dimension to his game.

Keane was brilliant with the ball at his feet and his forward passing gave Everton a better edge in the second-half.

He was finding the attacking players and was always an option for midfielders when under pressure from Liverpool’s intense pressing.

Keane picked the best day to put in such a performance.

After falling out of England contention recently he put in his best Everton display yet under the watchful eye of the national team manager Gareth Southgate.

The 25-year-old will now hope he can continue this form for the rest of the season.

He will also be optimistic that he may have managed to force his way back into the England squad ahead of the World Cup this summer.    

Liverpool

Southampton is the ideal destination for Liverpool forward Danny Ings

The Liverpool forward has had a torrid time on Merseyside

Liam Thomas

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Danny Ings
Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool signed Danny Ings back in 2015 after the forwards terrific season with Burnley earned him a big money move to Anfield. However, largely due to injuries, the Englishman’s time on Merseyside has been spent on the sidelines.

With the new Premier League season edging closer, it looks as if Ings’ time at the Reds may be coming to an end and, according to The Sun, Southampton are keen on bringing the forward to St. Mary’s to head up their forward line.

Liverpool rate Ings at £20 million but the Saints will be looking to require his signature for half that price given the forward’s recent injury record and there seems no better destination for him to rediscover the form that saw him leave Burnley for Anfield.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Southampton was the club it all started for Ings, with the forward playing for Saints as a schoolboy. Now the Englishman is fighting fit and ready to go, it seems the South coast outfit would offer him the first team action he needs to become a prolific goalscorer once again.

A fresh start is exactly what Ings needs to reignite his Premier League career and, at 25 years of age, he still has a lot left in the tank to give some of his best years to Mark Hughes’ team.

If the Liverpool forward could rediscover the form that saw him score 43 times in 139 appearances for Burnley, Southampton could profit hugely.

Are the Saints the team for Ings to finally rediscover that fortune? Given a little bit of confidence and a run of minutes under his belt, St.Mary’s could become the perfect playground for the forward to flourish.

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Chelsea

Three reasons why Kenedy can become Newcastle’s talisman next season

The 22-year-old made an instant impact when he joined on loan last season.

Liam Thomas

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Kenedy
Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United managed to acquire Kenedy’s services for another season, after bringing the silky winger in on loan last January from Chelsea.

During his time at St. James’ Park last season, the Brazilian showed glimpses of the genius that saw Chelsea bring him into their ranks from Brazilian powerhouse Fluminense and he will, in no doubt, be an extremely effective weapon for Rafael Benitez to have at his disposal next season.

But can the 22-year-old take it up a notch and become Newcastle’s star man in the 2018/19 Premier League season?

A brilliant manager to learn from

Kenedy will again have to chance to play under Spanish tactician Rafael Benitez, a manager who’s done and won it all.

Benitez seemed to get the best out of Kenedy last season for the Magpies, and the young Brazilian won’t find many other managers around who are invested in getting the very best out of their young talents.

He had a huge impact playing just half the season for Newcastle

When Kenedy arrived on Tyneside in January, Benitez’ team were struggling, and in a rut of bad form, the Brazilian played his part in turning the clubs fortunes around and helped his new side to a top half finish.

It is a mouthwatering prospect to think for Newcastle fans what Kenedy will achieve with the club given a full season with them, and now he has fully settled into life in the city, he may be able to make an even bigger impact next season.

Young, ambitious and highly rated

At 22 years of age, Kenedy is poised to have the best season of his career so far and his energetic style of play bodes well for Newcastle next season.

You only have to look back as far as April to see the kind of teams interested in taking Kenedy into their ranks for the new season. Sky Sports reported that Bayern Munich and PSG were considering launching bids for the winger; a testament to how highly rated he is.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham signing Gonzalo Martinez would put pressure on countryman Erik Lamela

Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a move for the Argentine this summer.

Mathew Nash

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Tottenham Hotspur are one of three teams being linked with a move for Gonzalo Martinez this week. Calciomercato report the River Plate man is on the radar of Everton, Southampton and indeed Spurs. With a £13.3 million price-tag, an Italian passport and a reservoir of talent it is easy to see why Spurs might be keen on the player.

His arrival would, however, put immediate pressure on a Tottenham Hotspur fan favourite. The parallels between Martinez, or ‘Pity’ as he is known, are fairly remarkable. Firstly, there is the Argentinian connection but both are also River Plate products. Then there is their style of play. Both are left-footed attacking midfielders, capable of playing from either side and creative in their style of play.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The main difference between the two is physique. Lamela, lean and tall, towers over the more diminutive pocket-rocket that is Martinez.

But his arrival would certainly put pressure on Lamela to become more consistent for Tottenham. That is not just regarding his form, but also his fitness. Injuries have become a big issue for Lamela at Tottenham and Martinez could be viewed as a potential replacement.

In a week where rumours of a contract extension are rife and considering how universally popular the hard-working Lamela is that would seem odd.

However, it might be nice to see him put under pressure by his countryman if Spurs do bring in the bargain buy.

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