This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
We all like a free sample every now and then, with the ‘try before you buy’ mantra enabling us to enjoy the use of an asset without an obligation to make a lasting financial commitment towards it.
That approach worked wonders for Burnley with regards to their acquisition of Michael Keane. The Manchester United academy graduate signed for the Clarets on loan six years ago last Wednesday, his fourth such move away from Old Trafford being made off the back of his appearance in United’s galling 4-0 League Cup defeat to MK Dons.
Those weren’t the most auspicious of cirumstances in which to arrive at Turf Moor and the centre-back had to wait until late November 2014 to make his first Premier League start for Burnley. However, he then enjoyed a prolonged run of games in Sean Dyche’s starting line-up and, in January 2015, the Clarets signed him permanently in a £2.3m deal (as per TransferMarkt).
Keane was unable to prevent the club from relegation that year but, in his first season as a full Burnley player, he and his team enjoyed a campaign to remember. The defender helped himself to five goals and three assists in 44 Championship games as the Clarets topped the division to ensure an instant return to the Premier League, where they have remained ever since. One of those goals was a stoppage time equaliser in a 1-1 draw against fellow high-fliers Middlesbrough during the season’s run-in.
In October 2016, his impressive performances were recognised with a call-up to the senior England squad, although he would have to wait another five months to make the first of his 10 appearances for the Three Lions to date.
He enjoyed another strong season in 2016/17, netting twice in 35 Premier League games as Burnley survived in the division for the first time, following their relegations in 2010 and 2015. He was even shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, which ultimately went to Tottenham’s Dele Alli.
His performances caught the eye of Ronald Koeman, then the manager of Everton, and the Dutchman brought him to Goodison Park in July 2017 for a fee of £25.65m (as per TransferMarkt), which represented a profit of 1,115.22% on Burnley’s initial outlay of just £2.3m.
Were you shocked that Burnley got more than £25m for Michael Keane?
Keane has since gone on to make 107 appearances for the Toffees and was even the subject of recent transfer rumours linking him with a shock move to Barcelona (OK Diario, via Daily Mail), where Koeman was appointed manager last month.
However, with James Tarkowski and Ben Mee proving a trusted centre-back partnership at Burnley ever since his move to Merseyside, the 27-year-old has not been greatly missed at Turf Moor, especially as his lucrative sale to Everton enabled the Clarets to bankroll a handsome sum.
Burnley fans, did the club cash in on Keane at the right time? Comment below with your views!
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