Everton travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday where they will look to hand Chelsea their first Premier League defeat of the season.
The Toffees, however, could be without their man of the moment Richarlison with manager Marco Silva confirming in his pre-match press conference that the Brazilian is a doubt for the game (via Sky Sports).
One man who is likely to play, though, is Michael Keane. And Everton’s Portuguese boss has had some kind words to say about the central defender heading into the match.
“Last season wasn’t easy for him, coming to a new club and trying to have an impact, but I see a big difference in him now,” Silva told evertontv.
“I realised when I started to work with him during pre-season that his confidence was not high. But we saw in him the qualities to be one of our central defenders. We worked with him and believed in him in that moment because we saw his qualities as a central defender.
“He is improving and understanding our model and trying to do everything we ask from him. And he is performing well because he has the skills to do that.”
As mentioned by Silva, Keane struggled in his debut season at Goodison Park following his big-money move from Burnley last summer.
Under Ronald Koeman before the Dutchman’s sacking, the 25-year-old failed to adapt to a backline that was completely different to the incredibly deep one Sean Dyche has been renowned for deploying at Burnley.
In short, Keane was exposed and never really recovered after that even with the appointment of Sam Allardyce, a similar manager to Dyche.
However, since Silva was installed in the Goodison Park dugout, Keane’s performances have drastically improved with the former Burnley man now looking more comfortable in a higher defensive line.
With Kurt Zouma and Yerry Mina having been brought in over the summer, though, Keane must not rest on his laurels, especially if he wants to keep his place in the England squad following his recent recall.