Everton Defender Keane Receives Three Lions Call

Michael Keane's fabulous early season form has earned the Everton defender a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Blues goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is also included in the Three Lions party for matches against USA and Croatia later this month.

Keane could potentially add to his four caps when Southgate’s team face USA in a Wembley friendly clash on Thursday, November 15.

England wrap up their Nations League group fixtures three days later – on Sunday, November 18 – when Croatia are the visitors to the national stadium.

Centre-back Keane most recently represented his country in a World Cup qualifying encounter with Lithuania in October last year.

England manager Southgate was at Goodison Park on Saturday to see Keane produce a stellar display in Everton’s 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Former Burnley man Keane, who joined the Club in summer 2017, has made nine Premier League appearances this term and been instrumental in Marco Silva’s side winning four of their past five matches.

Capped 16 times by his country’s Under-21 team, Keane has won 53 aerial duels this term – a figure surpassed by only three top-flight defenders.

His measured distribution, a vital quality in Southgate’s fast-evolving England team, is reflected in the 25-year-old striking 49 passes per match with an 82.5 per cent success rate. In the most recent round of Premier League fixtures, only six players fed more passes into the final third of the pitch than the 12 Keane struck against Brighton.

Pickford has become a national team mainstay since shutting out Germany on his debut 12 months ago.

The 24-year-old played every minute of England’s summer World Cup campaign which ended at the semi-final stage and won his 13th cap in last month’s 3-2 Nations League triumph in Spain.

Seamus Coleman, meanwhile, is included in Martin O’Neill’s provisional Republic of Ireland squad for matches against Northern Ireland and Denmark.

Everton right-back Coleman has played in his Club’s past three games after overcoming a foot problem sustained on Republic duty back in September.

Manager O’Neill will name his final squad on Monday for a Dublin friendly meeting with Northern Ireland on Thursday, November 15 and Nations League game against Denmark in Aarhus the following Monday, November 19.

Coleman's fellow Blues defender Lucas Digne retains his place in Didier Deschamps' France 23 for back-to-back matches this month.

The world champions complete their Nations League group-stage programme against Holland in Rotterdam on Friday, November 16.

France return home for a friendly contest with Uruguay in Paris on Tuesday, November 20.

Left-back Digne has represented his country on 22 occasions after winning his first cap against Holland in March 2014.

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