Everton had an afternoon to forget down at the south coast on Saturday following a disappointing 2-1 loss to Southampton.
A magnificent long-range effort by James Ward-Prowse at the beginning of the second-half was soon followed by a terrible own-goal by Lucas Digne.
But, the result could’ve been much worse for the Toffees if the Saints converted all of their chances, especially in the first-half.
It was centre-back, Michael Keane, who was put to the sword at St Mary’s with players like Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond making life difficult for the England international and the rest of the Everton defence.
Keane failed to stay tight on the Southampton attackers and space was too often created with him out of position. Fortunately for Marco Silva, both Redmond and Ings only managed to hit the post after they got the better of Keane.
The Ings chance just before the break was particularly worrying from Keane after he looked too scared to come near the former Liverpool man and instead backed out of the challenge that nearly led to the opening goal.
Keane, though, has been struggling to revitalise his form in recent matches and Silva’s team has been longing for a solid defensive showing on the road.
The time might be right for the manager to turn to Yerry Mina again and let him operate alongside Kurt Zouma.
The decision could give Keane some much-needed rest, while Mina would feel he has something to prove in the Everton team.
The former Barcelona man has been in and out of the side lately as Silva struggled to find his best partnerships and combinations.
A trip to Millwall in the FA Cup awaits the Merseyside club next weekend and could be the ideal opportunity to let Mina take the field with Keane on the bench.
The recent poor results could have impacted Keane’s confidence and will time on the bench only do him good to recover the consistent form he has shown at times this season.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!