What’s the word?
Steve Cooper is hoping to bolster his defence, especially after the recent injury to another summer signing in Moussa Niakhate.
His lack of recent game-time at Goodison Park could be a factor in the move, although with Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey out for the foreseeable future, it seems unlikely that Frank Lampard will allow his only centre-back cover to leave on loan.
Could be a solid trio
In Niakhate’s absence, Steve Cook has had to fill in for their injured French defender.
To replace the 31-year-old with the “brilliant” Keane (as dubbed by Sam Tighe), who like the ex-Bournemouth man is also awash with Premier League experience, could represent a smart move until Niakhate is to return.
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Playing alongside inspirational skipper Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna, these three could become a fearsome defensive unit if they can click. Last season the former recorded an average SofaScore rating of 7.07 and has been branded a “leader” in the past by his one-time manager Steven Gerrard.
The England international featured 32 times last season for Everton in what was a dire season for the Toffees. However, this experience fighting at the bottom of the table could be integral in adding some extra steel to his game.
He also managed to chip in with three goals and two assists and surprisingly ranks in the top 6% for assists per 90 by centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues over the past 12 months. This is likely indicative of his aerial prowess and how he can often be first to meet the ball at a set piece due to his 6 foot 3 frame.
That notion is further supported by the fact that he ranks in the top 10% for aerials won – the man who was once considered “rock solid” by Liverpool Echo’s Adam Jones thrives when his team has to sit slightly deeper and make last-ditch tackles.
The £65k-per-week brute’s average of four clearances per game from last season is further evidence of his defensive acumen, which shows his upturn in form after Frank Lampard decided to adopt a more conservative style.
At the heart of this solid theoretical back three, Keane could finally realise the potential which may have been expected of him when he made his £30m move to Goodison Park in 2017.