Everton were looking to sell or offload some of their fringe players to free up wages and generate some funds that could be used to sign new players as the club continues to combat financial problems. Michael Keane was expected to leave the Toffees in January, however, that notion seems to have changed.
This season, Keane has just played 22 minutes of Premier League football and has a total of three Everton appearances to his name. The Englishman has slipped down the pecking order at Everton after the arrival of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski in the summer. Frank Lampard used to prefer the centre back partnership of Coady and Tarkowski while keeping Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina as the third and fourth choice centre backs.
Mason Holgate and Keane were deemed surplus to requirements and exit of one of the central defenders was almost given in the winter transfer window. Earlier in the window, Keane was linked with a move to Southampton, who were looking to bolster their defence in the January window.
Everton wanted to sell Keane in this window instead of loaning him out until the end of the season. Serie A side Salernitana were in talks with Keane’s agents over a move but the 30 year old didn’t warm up to the idea of playing for Salernitana who are hovering above the relegation zone.
Everton defender Michael Keane now expected to stay at the club
Lampard is now no longer the Everton manager and Sean Dyche is set to take over the reins at Goodison Park. With the arrival of Dyche, the fortunes of Keane are set to change. According to Sky Sports editor Alan Myers, Keane is now going to remain at the club despite being linked to a number of teams in this window.
Everton have changed their stance on Keane because of Dyche’s arrival. Keane is a player that Dyche knows well from his Burnley days and he is a player that the 51 year old manager trusts. Under Dyche, Keane played 108 games for Burnley over the span of three seasons before making a move to Merseyside in 2017.
Dyche knows a few faces from this Everton squad and would want to work with some players who already know his methods. Along with Keane, Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil have also played under Dyche. It is still unclear if Dyche will reinstate the 30 year old central defender into the starting lineup but he will surely count upon Keane in some capacity.
Will Michael Keane return to the starting lineup?