Michael Keane

Michael Keane
Image from: tribuna.com

Michael Keane

Current Club: Burnley.

Previous Club: Manchester United.

Loan Club: Burnley, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, Leicester City.

International: England 2caps.

As a junior at Man Utd, the centre back never really threatened to breakthrough into the first team, and so, in the January 2015 transfer window, he made his loan move to the Clarets a permanent deal. Since joining Burnley, Keane has established himself, after winning promotion with them into the Premier League, as a Prem quality centre half and forced his way into the England squad. That has led to interest in him from Everton, West Ham United and Stoke City.

I can personally understand why he never made the breakthrough at United, as Keane has no outstanding qualities or glaring deficiencies to catch the eye. He is not particularly fast or lumberingly slow, so he is not reliant on pace nor having to adjust his game to cope with a lack of it. Keane is not bad in the air, nor is he strong in the air, he is just decent enough. His positional sense is good, but not great, he can be caught out on occasion but the way Burnley play limits the damage that can be done when it happens.

On the ball he is good, again not great, certainly not of a level that could make him be considered a ball-playing centre back, but Keane is not going to trip over the ball if asked to pass it out from deep. Not strong enough to bully forwards, but not weak enough to be bullied regularly. Keane is the perfect back up centre back, as he could be a decent partner to any centre half and adapt his game to work with theirs. However he is not a top class defender, he lacks the necessary attributes to do so.

Keane is not a dominant centre back, he will not dominate opponents with his physicality and aerial prowess, nor is he able to be the creative heart of the team, allowing them to concentrate on ball possession and moving it out from the back. He is the epitome of midtable mediocrity, in that everything about him is mediocre, in terms of Premier League level anyway.