Five Things About Keane

by Rob Urbani
@Everton

Michael Keane became the newest Evertonian on Monday evening.

Get to know him better by reading five facts about the England centre-back…

KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
 
Keane’s twin, Will, has played more than 50 matches in professional football. Both brothers represented Manchester United - Will made three appearances, compared to Michael who played for the Old Trafford club on five occasions.
 
Will, a forward, is currently on the books of Hull City, having signed a three-year contract with the Tigers last summer. The two players went head-to-head in the 2016/17 season when Burnley hosted Hull at Turf Moor in September - a Premier League match which finished in a 1-1 draw.

Michael Will Keane 480
  
A STUDENT OF THE GAME
 
In his late teenage years, Keane combined his footballing commitments with academic work. He gained A-Levels in physics, chemistry and biology, and he achieved this with the help of a private tutor who he enlisted prior to signing his first professional contract with Manchester United.
 
Speaking earlier this year, Keane recalled how Sir Alex Ferguson made it possible for him to complete his qualifications.
 
He revealed: “Sir Alex said, ‘I know you’ve quit college for this [progressing with Manchester United] — how are you studying?’.
 
“I told him I had tutors. He made me go to his office and tell him how many hours a week and the cost. He refunded what I’d paid, then paid for the rest. Touches like that made him special.”
  
ENGLAND ALWAYS HIS DREAM

Michael Keane England 480
 
Keane always had aspirations of playing for England, despite the fact that he represented Republic of Ireland at junior level.
 
The defender turned out for their Under-17 and Under-19 teams, qualifying through his father’s heritage.
 
In 2012, he switched to England and went on to play at the Under-21s level, where he was part of the 2015 European Championships in the Czech Republic.
 
Keane earned his first senior international cap in March 2017 against Germany. His second appearance for the Three Lions followed a few days against Lithuania.
 
Speaking earlier this year, he revealed: "I always wanted to play for England but when I was younger I was not at the level required so I thought it best to go and get some experience at international level. That is what I did.
 
"When I got a call saying they wanted me I did not think twice. I was thankful to Ireland to play but England was my country. There was never any doubt.”
  
GOOD FOR A GOAL
 
Keane has a more-than-respectable scoring record for a central defender. In 161 career club appearances, he has netted 13 times - an average of a goal almost every 12 matches.
 
He scored twice for Burnley last season but he was much more prolific in the Clarets’ promotion-winning season of 2015/16 when he got on the scoresheet an impressive five times.
  
PRAISE FROM ONE OF THE BEST

Keane Ferdinand 480
 
Rio Ferdinand is regarded as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever defenders - and earlier this year he gave a glowing endorsement of Keane and his defensive qualities.
 
Ferdinand has followed Keane’s progression closely, dating back to their time together at Manchester United when both were at the opposite end of their careers.
 
Writing in his column in The Times last season, Ferdinand eulogised: “He’s like I was at 24: a great sponge. He’s from a great family and had a good school upbringing.
 
“He’s very mature for his age. He never blames others, which is refreshing, because not all the younger generation of players are like that.
 
“Michael is a throwback – and other youngsters should look at him for inspiration.”

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