£25 million fringe Everton player wanted by another side battling relegation

Everton (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Everton are willing to offload some players who do not fit into the plans of Frank Lampard and have slipped down the pecking order. Centre back Michael Keane is someone who can be shown the exit door in the winter transfer window.

Everton’s defence has been remodeled as James Tarkowski and Conor Coady now marshal the backline. Both the experienced personnel have steadied the shaky defence and at one point Everton were the joint best defensive side in the league when getting past these two defence generals seemed an impossible task.

With the free acquisition of Tarkowski and season long loan deal of Coady, the Toffees have six central defenders to choose from. In most of the games, Lampard has preferred to go with a back four, utilizing the most powerful pair of Coady and Tarkowski.

The likes of Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate and Keane have slipped down the pecking order. Injuries have troubled the backline and there have been instances where the Blues were left with just two or three centre backs.

When everyone is fit, six centre backs are a little too many. Lampard will never utilize them all and offloading one or two of them makes sense as it frees up spaces in the squad and lightens the load on the wage budget.

Everton centre back Michael Keane on Southampton shortlist

Tarkowski, Coady and Ben Godfrey are preferred choices whereas Mina and Holgate serve as rotation options. Keane has struggled to get game time this season despite long term injuries to Godfrey and Mina at the start of the season. Keane has played just 22 minutes of Premier League football and has seen his presence largely restricted to the bench.

The Englishman did play two Carabao Cup games and has now seen his role reduced to being a cup tie player rather than an option for the Toffees week in week out. According to The Athletic, Southampton are looking into the possibility of signing Keane from Everton on a loan deal.

The Saints are sitting at the bottom of the table and want to bolster their defence in a bid to fight the relegation battle. Southampton have shipped 33 goals and Nathan Jones eyes Keane as a viable option to reinforce the defence.

Saints are in big trouble and just like Lampard at Everton, pressure is piling on Jones at St Mary’s stadium. The Saints want to bring a new centre back on loan and Keane seems to be on the shortlist.

The 29 year old has downgraded to a fringe player, surplus to requirements at Goodison Park and should be willing to make a switch in January. Everton signed the Englishman from Burnley for £25 million in 2017, but it hasn’t been regarded as a good piece of business done by the club.

Now, nowhere in the immediate plans, Keane should be offloaded soon. If Southampton are willing to cover his wages, the Toffees shouldn’t waste any time in sanctioning the loan deal.

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