Michael Keane revealed he has come to Everton to learn from one of the best in fellow defender and Toffees manager Ronald Koeman, having completed his move from Burnley to Goodison for a fee that could rise to a Club record-equalling £30million.
The central defender has agreed a five-year contract with the Blues to the end of June 2022.
The 24-year-old became Everton’s fifth signing of the summer transfer window, following the arrivals of Jordan Pickford – in a Club record deal for a fee of £25million potentially rising to £30million – Dutch international midfield player Davy Klaassen from Ajax for €27million, former Barcelona striker and Spain Under-21 international Sandro Ramirez and Henry Onyekuru, the Belgian Pro League’s joint-top goalscorer last season who will spend the 2017/18 season on loan at Anderlecht.
With his new manager having been a European Cup winner with PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona and European championship winner with Holland, Keane believes he could not have come to a better place to continue his career development under Koeman’s watchful eye and he also paid tribute to Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright and Director of Football Steve Walsh for their respective roles in making his big move happen.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be at Everton, a fantastic football club with passionate fans and a great tradition and I can’t wait to come into training tomorrow to meet all the lads,” Keane said.
“First and foremost, the manager was a big factor in me coming to the Club. He played in my position when he was a world-class player for a great Barcelona side and a great Dutch side and the style of football he likes to play will suit me, I believe.
“I watched a lot of Everton last season and I believe I really suit how the team likes to play. I feel like this is a great place to come and continue my development as a player.
“He’s convinced me that he can still improve me in certain areas of my game. I’m only 24 which, for a centre-half in the Premier League, is relatively young. I’ve still got a long way to go and I know this and hopefully under his guidance I’ll keep improving.
“You always want to play for a manager who believes in you. I wanted to come somewhere I was wanted by the staff, players and fans as well. I feel like Everton is the perfect match.
“I’ve also got to say thanks to the Chairman Bill Kenwright - he’s been absolutely fantastic getting the deal through. I also spoke with Steve Walsh, who I knew from my time at Leicester four or five years ago, and they really convinced me that this was the place to come and that Everton is the perfect club for me.”
For Koeman, bringing Keane to Everton was one of his priorities of the summer.
“Michael was high among the players we wanted to bring to Everton this summer and I'm delighted he is here at the Club,” the Everton manager said.
"We knew there would be competition from other clubs but Michael believes in the ambition of Everton and what we want to do and this is the perfect moment for him to come.
"I believe there is much more to come from Michael and that's what makes his signing really exciting for me - we will see his development as a player along with the progression overall within the Club.
"It's another really positive sign of the direction the Club is moving in. He's 24 years old, his best years are to come, he's an England international, too, and I couldn't be more pleased that he's now a Blue."
Keane joins Everton on the back of an impressive 2016/17 season with Burnley, when he made 35 Premier League appearances, displaying form which earned him international recognition with England.
The 6ft 3in centre-back made his senior debut for the Three Lions against Germany in March and earned his second cap in the World Cup qualifying victory over Lithuania days later.
Keane spent three seasons at Turf Moor, having made the switch from his first club, Manchester United, in September 2014.
During his second season with Burnley in 2015/16, he helped the Clarets win the Championship title and his performances secured him a place in the PFA Team of the Year.
Coming through Manchester United’s academy, Keane made five first-team appearances for the Red Devils, enhancing his football experience with three separate loan spells in the Championship with Leicester City, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers respectively, before his permanent move to Burnley in 2014.
In all competitions, Keane has so far made 161 club appearances, scoring 13 goals.