Everton

TT Battle: Jamaal Lascelles vs Michael Keane

Newcastle and Everton have had differing fortunes this season as, despite their recent run of form, the Toon currently sit 15th in the table while Marco Silva’s side have started to push up the table and are currently sixth. 

Both sides have two defenders that are two of the best outside the top five sides in Jamaal Lascelles and Michael Keane. With that in mind, let’s compare the two.

Jamaal Lascelles

Signed for a reported £4.5 million fee in 2014, Lascelles was immediately loaned back to Nottingham Forest and didn’t really get a long run in the Newcastle side until the backend of the 2015/16 season.

He was a leading light in a side that was relegated and in their first season back in the Championship, Lascelles was handed the captaincy by Benitez and ever since then, he’s been the Spaniard’s general on the pitch.

He might not be the best with the ball but as a leader and physical presence at the back, Lascelles is somewhat of a an old school defender.

Newcastle signed him to a new long-term deal this season to ward off interest in the £13.5 million-rated defender but in reality, he must look to move away to realise his full potential.

TT Grade: B-

Michael Keane

A product of the Man United youth academy, Michael Keane never really got a chance at his hometown club and was sold to Burnley in 2014 where he would go on to blossom into one of the best young defenders in the country.

Just like Lascelles, Keane was a key reason in Burnley getting promoted back into the Premiership and in their first season back in the league, Keane played 35 games for Sean Dyche.

In a solid 4-4-2 system, Keane thrived and much like Lascelles, his defensive awareness was more representative of defenders past than present. Following a solid season with Burnley, he earned his big £30 million move to Everton and this season, he is beginning to show the form he showcased at Burnley. As a result, he’s returned to the England side and has become a key player for Marco Silva.

TT Grade: B

The Verdict

It’s a tight battle to call as both players are two of the best defenders outside the top five sides but for how well he played during his time with Burnley and the form he’s begun to show for Everton, Keane wins this one.

If Lascelles wants to progress, he should copy Keane and make a big move away.

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