Former Toffee Martin Dobson believes Everton have signed a great all-round defender in Michael Keane.
Dobson follows Burnley’s fortunes closely, having also played more than 400 matches for the Clarets in his 20-year career, meaning he has charted Keane’s progress over the past three years with interest.
After calling time on a career which saw the midfielder make 190 appearances for Everton from 1974-78, the 69-year-old worked as a scout, notably for Leicester City, and developed an eye for a player with potential
He has no doubt Keane will make a smooth transition at Goodison and that he will prove to be a defender who makes important contributions in both penalty boxes.
“Michael has certainly been very influential in the success Burnley have had in the last few years and I’d like to think he’s going to carry on that progress at Goodison Park,” Dobson explained of Keane, after the 24-year-old signed a five-year deal with the Blues on Monday for a fee that could rise to a Club record-equalling £30million. “He has shown all different kind of attributes at Burnley and his attitude is always excellent.
“Burnley, to be fair, had to defend in a lot of games last season. Their organisation skills at home were terrific and they got a lot of points. Burnley came away with 10 wins at Turf Moor against some of the strongest teams in the land. To do that, defensively they had to be well-organised and at the heart of that defence at centre-back was Michael Keane.
“They were resilient and had that 'over-my-dead-body attitude', which was shown by Michael in the games I saw him play.
“He popped up with a few goals and is a big danger at set plays. He has scored a lot of important goals over the last two or three years, so his contribution has been magnificent.
“He’s also very comfortable in possession, and in football nowadays, you look for players who can come forward with the ball. He’s excellent in the air, wins the ball and his positional play is good. He’s just a quality player who is going to go a long way in the game.
“It’s just a matter of fitness - as long as he doesn’t get any injury of any kind, I can only see him getting better and better. Playing at a top club in front of big crowds with the support he will get on Merseyside, it’s another stage to his career.
“He’ll use all the experience he has gained and I just think he’s at the right age to come to a wonderful club like Everton. Once he’ll get established, I’m sure he’ll go from strength to strength.”
Dobson is still seen regularly at Everton home matches and he senses the fans are delighted the Toffees have managed to bring on board the England defender.
He added: “I do the hospitality on matchdays at Goodison Park and towards the end of the season when there was speculation that Michael could be coming to the Club, all the responses from the Evertonians I spoke to was very positive.
“The fans seem to rate him very highly and are looking forward to seeing him play at the start of the season.”