Everton supporters have been relatively despondent in recent times after seeing their team stutter over the festive period in the Premier League.
Marco Silva’s men were beginning to show impressive form heading into December to suggest that they may be able to compete with the division’s top six sides this term, only to endure a tricky month which has seen them fall away from the top-flight’s best teams. The Toffees managed only one victory from their seven league matches in December and lost on four occasions to fall into the bottom half of the table, thus leaving Silva and his team with much work to do in the second half of the season.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Evertonians up and down the country in recent times, although the form of defender Michael Keane this season has certainly been a bright spark for the Toffees following his move from Burnley back in the summer of 2017.
The England international cost former boss Ronald Koeman a hefty £25.65 million (as per Transfermarkt) such was his impressive stint at Turf Moor, but there is little doubting that it has been money better spent than the £12.6 million (as per Transfermarkt) the Dutchman spent to lure fellow centre back Ashley Williams to Goodison Park a year earlier.
The Wales international had proven to be a hugely underrated defender at Premier League level during his time at Swansea City, playing a key part in helping the Swans establish themselves as a top tier club – there’s no coincidence that things took a turn for the worse at the Liberty Stadium following his departure.
And while there have been glimpses of the Williams that excelled at Swansea during his time at Everton, they have been few and far between to the point that he is now playing his football in the Championship on loan at Stoke City – it’s a deal that has backfired greatly.
And while Koeman certainly got that one wrong, he has at least made amends by luring the supremely talented Keane to Goodison Park, who has this season become the senior centre back under Silva to suggest that he could be the future of the Everton defence.
The 25-year-old actually struggled for much of his debut campaign on Merseyside last term in an Everton side that shipped goals for fun for much of the season, but under the guidance of new boss Silva, he has slowly but surely showed exactly why Everton spent big money luring him to Goodison Park this time round.
The centre back has been a regular feature in the heart of the Toffees defence to underline the faith showed in him by the Portuguese, starting 18 of their 21 Premier League games so far, in which time he has produced the goods to a high enough level to continuously earn selection ahead of the likes of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma.
Thus, while there is little doubting that Koeman got it wrong luring Williams to Everton back in 2016, he certainly made amends by landing Englishman Keane the summer after given he has since become a mainstay at Goodison Park, and one that looks to play a big part in what success the club have in the near future.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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