Michael Keane has agreed a new 5-year contract with Everton, underlining Carlo Ancelotti's confidence in the England centre-back.
The 27-year-old impressed in his performances under Ancelotti during the season run-in and and played every minute of the last nine games of the Premier League season after it resumed in June following the Covid-19 shutdown.
On Tuesday, Keane was recalled to the England squad by boss Gareth Southgate for the Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark next week and he will be buoyed by his new deal which ties him to the Blues until June 2025.
The centre-back, who had two years left on his previous deal, has scored three goals in 94 Premier League appearances since signing from Burnley in a £25m deal in 2017.
"I have loved my three years at Everton and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds," Keane told the club's website.
"I am learning every day on the training pitch with the manager and all his staff. The manager is one of the best there has been.
"I am not happy just staying where I am at the minute. I want to keep improving and keep learning. My best years are definitely ahead of me.
"It's time we started producing results on the pitch. We want to finish higher in the table than we did last year and get into Europe.
“The Club has been investing in the team and it is time we started producing results on the pitch," he continued.
“We want to finish higher in the table than we did last year and get into Europe. And if we can win a cup that would be brilliant”.
Reader Comments (82)
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1 Posted 30/08/2020 at 15:32:04
I think getting Keane to sign on improved terms until he's 32 is a promising sign, but then again I'm not of the opinion (like a fair amount on here) that Keane is a major barrier to the team's significant improvement. And it seems like Brands, Ancelotti et al either agree, or at least do not want a valuable asset to leave the club for free.
2 Posted 30/08/2020 at 15:51:17
3 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:01:15
4 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:02:04
5 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:03:49
6 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:06:06
For me (just my opinion) but Michael Keane is our best defender at actually defending.
Holgate isn't a great defender, again just my opinion, Mason may be better with the ball at his feet but old-fashioned defending no.
Mina has proven himself far too unreliable especially last season, probably even in his first if truth be told.
Branthwaite is a novice and won't play every week.
Cast our minds back to Marco Silva's first season, the outstanding partnership was Keane and Kurt Zouma by a country mile.
As I say, don't see any problems with this deal.
7 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:22:55
8 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:23:06
Jim, I dont actually disagree with you. For pure defending in his own penalty area Keane is great. Hes big, strong, hes great in the air (in both boxes), he stands tall and gets blocks in.
My issue is that he can only play in his own box. So if we play a low block, aka the way Burnley always played with him, then he excels. Its playing to his strengths. If we play a very high line and press high up the pitch, like we did under silva, then theres so much space behind him and hes no pace to recover. He also turns slower than an oil tanker.
Other issues are his lack of leadership, his lack of communication, his tendency to drop his head and be deeply affected by mistakes.
Gylfi Sigurdsson in a recent club interview was talking about adapting to his new position. He talked about how the centre back stopped him going too far forwards. That centre back should have been Keane, but no it was Holgate.
In essence, if you want to sit deep and play backs to the wall, then theres few better English defenders. If you actually want to attack teams and play good football, hes a liability.
9 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:23:45
10 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:23:58
Starting to actually get excited again now... Reservedly!
11 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:25:40
12 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:27:15
13 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:33:28
He's 27, a good age, entering his peak years and protects his value in terms of any possible future transfer. He's a solid enough performer when he has a partner with pace next to him and is very comfortable with the physical side of the league so let's see if Holgate can cement a partnership with him.
I personally still think Mina, when fit, is the much better defender. Just opinions though. One thing you can't question, is Keane's desire to play for Everton. The more of them we have, the better. COYB
14 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:35:17
15 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:42:07
Steve #8, I would just make the point that we can't play a high line and press up the pitch, at least against quick teams, and Carlo knows it. It's not just Keane who's the problem -- we have no pace anywhere on the back line except perhaps Holgate. We'd need 3-4 pacy defenders to play that way, not just one.
For the way Carlo needs us to play right now, Keane is just fine. And I still think he'll usually be third choice behind Holgate and a healthy Mina, who passes the ball better and will meld better with our new South American midfield (please please please get these done!).
Tony #14, I remember that play so vividly. Keane was already rumored to be headed our way, and after watching that moment I was dubious to put it mildly. He's actually been a bit better for us than I expected.
Pat #12, good 'un as usual.
16 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:44:53
Whatever anyone thinks about his pace or his turning circle of the Arc Royal we need four central defenders. As part of that mini squad this makes good sense, gives us strength in depth and dependability.
Mina may be the one to be moved on and be sold if a quality central defender like, the one that got away, Gabriel is bought.
17 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:55:03
I want to see a better brand of football than we witnessed at the end of last season, and covering for Michael Keanes flaws wont allow for that.
18 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:00:54
19 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:03:01
Capable of one trick and not a very good one at that, we are never seeing the money we paid for him again. He must be jigging around his mansion.
This is a massive waste of money. Given his ‘best performances were after lockdown, although the bar was lower than a snakes belly his value as a player is surely at least the price we paid for him. A lower half team who played defensively who have bought him and helped fund a better player. This has priced him out of any move.
Its a big mistake for me.
20 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:12:16
21 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:13:30
Carlo knows what is required and in him we trust.
22 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:19:37
For once I agree with Steve. Keane has very poor concentration and awareness.
His only saving grace is he is not bad in both penalty areas and god knows we need more goals from elsewhere in the team other than the front two. This was supposed to be Mina's strength but he hasnt been that productive.
I was also a bit concerned about Holgate's performance against Blackpool after his article saying we would be going all out to improve this season. Although to be fair the back 4 had no protection whatsoever from midfield.
23 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:22:14
24 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:32:25
Holgate has also shown good progress so defensively they could be very strong. Just needs the rest of the team to come good.
25 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:37:54
Hope to god he isn't going to be a regular starter or we are in trouble, especially with Pickford behind him. Offload Mina and buy someone else to partner Holgate.
26 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:37:55
27 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:46:01
28 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:53:08
Steve, regarding Sigurdsson talking about adapting to his new position, still never saw him make a tackle, just ran beside the opposition player with the ball, that was his contribution.
29 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:53:59
Anyway, I think we're going to be ok at centre-back over the next few years. I have high hopes of Branthwaite but I also think we may have a gem in Gibson. There's an interesting thing in the Echo about us lending him to Huddersfield (though Fortuna Dusseldorf are also interested, it is said) because we think their plan under Corberan is properly aligned with Lewis's development and Ancelotti's proposed style.
Apparently, we rate Corberan generally; he's 37; I know nothing about him.
It's pleasing to see that sort of intelligence going into our loan policy.
30 Posted 30/08/2020 at 18:26:29
31 Posted 30/08/2020 at 18:29:47
For me, as with many of our players, the key is consistency.
Time tells all.
32 Posted 30/08/2020 at 18:50:04
Reading between the lines.
33 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:00:53
34 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:10:48
Your temporary departure managed to raise the average age of Twebers whilst simultaneously lowering the average IQ. A truly impressive feat!
I'm hoping we see you more frequently here moving towards this new season. I truly missed your observations and I've seen at least two other posters make similar statements.
As for Ferns keeping a low profile regarding the Silva debacle...unlikely! Mr Ferns is a lawyer, and having a sister in law recently divorce one I'm familiar with the breed. More cheek than a sumo, more neck than a giraffe....that's lawyers. He'll be back, louder and larger than before, virtually nothing more certain in this world.
35 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:15:22
Trying to drag myself into faintly liking football again.. fingers crossed.
36 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:17:29
37 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:17:32
38 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:25:14
I hear you on the enthusiasm front. Football isn't what it used to be that's for sure. I'm giving my all one more time because I'm convinced it's Ancellotti or bust. If this fellow can't get us going in the right direction, then the alternative is truly dire. Here's hoping the football itself can fire up the enthusiasm for both of us, and the positive results we'll get keep it burning.
Still good to have you back, even temporarily.
39 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:25:20
40 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:35:24
Keane is better than Mina when we defend deeper. He is ideal against teams who are likely to attack us, allowing us to soak up pressure and try to hit teams on the break as he is excellent at defending the area in front of him. He is poor at defending the area behind him - ie a high defensive line.
Alex Ferguson used to be brilliant in saving players for certain games, I believe that we should do this more. I would play Keane at home to the biggest 5 teams and away against the top 5 and potentially the likes of Leicester, however I wouldnt play him against the weaker teams who we should be looking to attack. It might only mean that he starts around 12-15 games, but it would be the 12-15 games that suit his style of play, Mina should be first choice for the other 23-26 games.
41 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:55:48
42 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:57:54
But I'd not disagree with Carlo Ancelotti, and it will be interesting to see what style or system Carlo, aims to play this season, so hoping for some quality incoming
transfers and a solid, functional defence.
I've a hunch, probably miles off, that he could even become Captain as perhaps Carlo sees this in his development plan.
As ever, interesting times at EFC.
43 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:30:17
He might be able to coach awareness but, if he is slow now, he is going to be positively pedestrian by the time he's over 30.
Whoever on here compared him to Brian Labone – shame on you.
44 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:43:58
Perhaps Carlo sees that the biggest weakness in Kean's game is the erratic 'keeper and has a plan. Romario of Man Utd.
45 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:44:59
If, please God, we are aiming at the other end of the table, he won't be in the team. Giving him an extended contract suggests a certain lack of confidence for the season ahead. He is the epitome of a confidence player and I think he will get better. Southgate and Carlo like him and that's good enough.
46 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:47:05
47 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:52:29
48 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:03:46
I prefer Mina and Holgate to start, Keane as third, with either Branthwaite or Gibson as sub (the other going on loan to develop).
49 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:06:12
50 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:14:16
Keane for the future rebuilt Barca. Also immediately told Suarez he isn't wanted, and upset at least one other, I forget who.
No-one can accuse the guy of having an inconsistent management style.
51 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:16:30
He's more than capable of stringing together some solid performances, as shown during the restart... but, as Steve notes, he's arguably a liability in the sort of style we ultimately aspire to play. He's not a bad player to have in the squad, but personally I think Holgate and Mina should be first choice... and if Branthwaite and/or Gibson develop as we're hoping, that could leave him even more surplus to requirements.
52 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:31:09
Sell, sell, sell.
He's not our best defender. He's good in the air, gets a few blocks in but I'm not sure how many successful tackles he makes due to his slowness and poor positional play outside of the keepers box.
This is why Everton, our once great club has become a bottom half team.
He's had a 30% payrise apparently and a large signing on fee.
No official new signings but let's publicise this. Unbelievable, just un-fk-believable.
53 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:31:36
The complete fall apart after lockdown has necessitated all transfer funds to be directed in the engine room. I can't blame Ancelotti for that. It was woeful.
He's not for me, but he will do for another season and with long enough on a contract you'd still get something for him in the future.
54 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:07:47
55 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:12:08
Ha ha, made me laugh that!
56 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:52:44
Lacks confidence, always.
Shits himself against challenging opposition.
Completely undeserving of a new contact. Put it this way, anyone out there who'd buy him from us now?
On a human level, seems a thoroughly decent guy. But he's not being paid on a human level.
57 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:56:53
I don't want an Idrissa Gueye type player. Allan is more or less that anyway. Sam Hoare gave the stats on them both on the other thread. Allan is not as prolific in winning the ball, but he's not far off. Allan is far superior on the ball in terms of touch, dribbling, and passing. I'm happy that we've replaced Gueye, at last.
Under Silva, I wanted to see a holding midfielder to anchor the midfield and allow us to play a 4-3-3. This player would allow the fullbacks to push on and would move in and out of the back line as necessary, and plug the gaps when we get counter attacked. This was when we could count on the pace of Zouma as well.
Since Zouma and Gueye left, we have become a team that is very susceptible to a counter-attack. I doubt many teams conceded a higher % of goals from counter-attacks than we did. I think that this can be solved by a static holding midfielder screening the back four, again allowing the fullbacks to push on, and to allow Gomes higher up the pitch and to allow Allan to push higher up the pitch and win the ball in dangerous areas like he does.
I'm talking a player like Fernandinho, or Diawara (of Roma and formerly Allan's teammate at Napoli until Carlo sold him).
Sure, we don't have to have such a player. But whilst we employ Michael Keane in defence and the lines become as stretched as they always do for us, then having a screen in front of the defence will make us a much harder team to pass through. If we sign James Rodriguez and he operates in his preferred Number 10 role, then we need to accept that he won't contribute much defensively, and again we need the holding midfielder to add balance. I'm thinking a 4-4-2 diamond (4-1-2-1-2) or a 4-3-3 here.
58 Posted 30/08/2020 at 23:18:39
And I hope we play a flexible 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 in our new lineup. I don't have stats to support this, I just know it would be enjoyable to watch for a change.
59 Posted 30/08/2020 at 00:02:21
By contrast, Allan and James are smart, accurate passers and damn near impossible to get the ball from when they're on it. They'll be the cure to the giveaway syndrome. And that, far more than any defensive changes, will reduce the issue of counterattacks. James won't contribute defensively? Like hell he won't. He'll help us keep possession. And he'll keep opposing midfielders deeper in their own end, and less likely to join a counter, just by his presence... something Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Gomes and Davies can't do.
Even if he never wins a ball -- and he won't -- Rodriguez could be the best thing to happen to our defense in years.
60 Posted 30/08/2020 at 00:04:38
Signing Michael Keane on an extended contract seems prudent but I would hope we can sign a pacy centre-back to go with him and make his selection realistic and viable. I am pissed off we piss-farted around on the Gabriel fee and lost him as a result. If we can 'find' £30M for Doucoure and Allan then we should have found it for Gabriel.
61 Posted 31/08/2020 at 00:13:18
62 Posted 31/08/2020 at 01:06:54
63 Posted 31/08/2020 at 01:19:09
I think a reliable centre-back with Premier League experience is hot commodity. Keane may be slow and not suited to play a high line, but he's not injury-prone. He won't commit rash tackles and he's brave. To get him a longer contract to protect his transfer value is a right move.
64 Posted 31/08/2020 at 01:27:27
We have a manager that will change his formation depending on the occasion and opposition, so I expect he has good reason to retain him.
65 Posted 31/08/2020 at 01:42:59
He needed to be sold or offered a new contract so as to not allow him to get into his final season on his existing one.
Next season, or indeed the following one, he will still be at a good age and have 4 or 3 years on his contract. He will be a valuable player to a team looking to shore up a defence so should hold his value.
By that time, we will have a good idea how good Holgate, Mina and Branthwaite are and decide where to invest.
And I think there is a lot of truth in saying that a reliable, trustworthy 'keeper would see an improvement in the defence as a whole.
66 Posted 31/08/2020 at 01:56:24
Frankly, watching him train and play during the Covid-19 restart, I was quite impressed particularly with the way he has started to attack the ball when heading in the opponents' area. I had the impression that this was due to some recent coaching.
67 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:11:09
Keane gets exposed in a team that wants to attack quickly and play high up the park. For me, his major deficiency in a team playing with this approach is his awareness and concentration. How many times do we see him watch the ball go over his head and have that "oh fuck" moment of realisation?
Players with a lack of pace can compensate by anticipation and reading the game. Keane lacks this on too many occasions. I feel unclean saying this, but Carragher was a good example.
In his defence, as mentioned above, he, and the Everton defence in general were not helped by our consistency, bordering on voluntary willingness, to give away possession too cheaply in the middle of the park.
I concur with many, you cannot doubt his commitment. Is he the standard we want? No. Is he where we are now? Yes.
Hopefully we get the midfield signings that appear to be in the pipeline. A midfield that can retain possession, create attacking options and protect the defence is an absolute priority. I hate using them again, but goalkeeper & central defence were the last pieces of Klopp's puzzle. He got the rest of the park sorted first.
68 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:33:06
69 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:36:44
Perhaps Carlo is on the case, or a bid for him is coming? A good example of the dark arts was Ratcliffe, I bloody loved him, but boy could he be a nasty bugger when required, all apologetic and concerned after just mullering some poor bugger!
70 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:39:43
71 Posted 31/08/2020 at 11:34:03
I agree with all your points apart from the one about him not being able to play in an attacking team. Keane has the best eye for a through pass of all our defenders, including the full-backs.
He can't turn and recover so can't play too far up but the manager should be able to mitigate that and that's his job.
72 Posted 31/08/2020 at 11:40:00
The result of that? Balls to be won in the centre and plenty of blocks to be made. Keane, Mee, Tarkowski etc all being good at this means that they shine in this system.
Defending at the elite level of the game requires an astute footballing brain. Pace may enhance the ability of a great defender but it does not define it.
Keane is unable to operate at that elite level. Sensing danger, positioning himself well and anticipating the play. For that reason he will always be exposed by players and systems that are too clever for him.
It's not his fault, it's just the way it is. For all of Van Dijk's physical gifts, his best attributes are the qualities I have just mentioned. Hence why he makes it all look so effortless.
If we aspire to be top 4, then we require elite defensive players. Keane is not one of these.
73 Posted 31/08/2020 at 11:49:41
In answer to your question, yes they could now extend the amortisation to the end of the new 5-year contract.
As 60% has already been amortised there probably only about £10M left on the books so I suspect it wouldn't be hugely significant.
74 Posted 31/08/2020 at 12:27:35
Possibly Gibson and Branthwaite could develop into such a player but, in the meantime, Keane is the most reliable we have got.
75 Posted 31/08/2020 at 12:46:48
They are indeed very few and far between.
I am just trying to offer reasoning behind why people thought he was a world-beater at Burnley and how he's just a bog-standard centre-back at Everton.
Put better players around him and he'll be less under pressure and his flaws less exposed. That may be our only solution as he's now going to be an integral part of our squad for at least 5 years it seems.
76 Posted 31/08/2020 at 12:58:03
Repeatedly giving the ball away cheaply in our own half is another fault. We don't have the defenders or team to play that way and yet many managers, including Carlo, insist they play out from the back.
If players can't play how the manager wants too then the manager needs to change tactics or players. We can't just swap 7 or 8 players in to improve the play so the manager needs to adapt tactics.
This is where we have repeatedly failed. Blame the players, sack the manager and then reward underperforming players.
If we can't sell a player, loan them out, compromise a pay out or let them run their contracts down. What we shouldn't do so is pay them more on a longer contract.
Lessons not learnt.
77 Posted 31/08/2020 at 14:35:45
78 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:21:51
I think he's the best all round forward that we have had at the club for a very long time.
He's another that will only get better with better players to support him.
I hope it's with us.
79 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:26:05
80 Posted 31/08/2020 at 22:14:23
With regards to Mina he does not have the strength to handle the Premier League and should be moved on at the right price.
I would believe he and Delph created the best partnership this year, in the treatment room.
81 Posted 31/08/2020 at 00:51:10
83 Posted 01/09/2020 at 00:26:55
I'm hoping against hope (and history too sadly, or at least recent history), that we will have a bit more tactical nouse moving forward. We have a manager who I would hope is astute enough to realise the deficiencies in Keane's game, and to play him when and where required. There are things he offers that we need, he is a good out and out defender who, in a deeper defensive unit can be a useful tool. Keane is good in the air, is a threat from set-pieces.
Quick, and agile in the turn, he is not. I'm hoping that a seasoned manager like ours can communicate that to the rest of his defensive amigos, and formulate a plan for them to follow to compensate, I have heard tell that people refer to this chicanery as tacky-ticks or some such. Who knows, it could catch on.
Seriously though, surely the manager can utilise Keane effectively, and take him out for games when or indeed if we are playing a higher line, or against out and out pace? Please?
We have also secured a higher chance at a decent fee should he be moved on, and also have stopped him from asking for a larger wage in twelve or eighteen months time, or walking away on a free. It kind of makes sense from a business perspective.
I will also say that Keane is in no way one of the priorities to move on. When you think we have players like Besic, Sandro, Bolasie, and up until recently Garbutt and Dowell, who we are paying and who offer no value to us. We have secured a player who will do for now, and hopefully secured some cash in future transfer fees when he is deemed surplus to requirements.
I will say, watching him trying to get to grips with Rodríguez in training might be worth it for the comedy value alone in Carlo's eyes. Although knowing our luck, Keane will end up smashing James and put him out for a year.
“ Who crocked JR?” will be the header on sky news, as a teary centre-back is driven out of Finch Farm under a blanket to protect his identity, while an on-the-scene reporter has questionable purple vibrating thing stuck in his ear by a cheeky scamp amongst the assembled blues.
Sorry, think lockdown affected me more than I realised.
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