Football

Koeman predicts big things for 'exciting' signing Keane

Everton boss Koeman confident 'exciting' signing Keane will develop together with the club

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is convinced the best is yet to come from defender Michael Keane, after splashing a fee which could rise to £30 million (S$53.7m) to secure his services.

The 24-year-old England international finally completed his move to Goodison Park from Burnley on Monday evening when he signed a five-year deal as the Toffees' summer spending spree continued.

Koeman was delighted to have got his man, telling the club's official website, evertonfc.com: "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."

Former Manchester United trainee Keane revealed that he had spoken to Everton's director of football Steve Walsh, with whom he had worked during a loan spell at Leicester, before committing himself to life on the blue half of Merseyside.

However, the chance to learn from former Barcelona and Holland defender Koeman proved a major pull.

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."

The signing of Keane follows the arrival of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland for £25m, potentially rising by a further £5m.

The Toffees also signed Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen from Ajax Amsterdam for 27 million euros (S$42.3m) and Spain Under-21 international striker Sandro Ramirez from Malaga.

Nigeria forward Henry Onyekuru, the Belgian league's joint-top scorer last season, has also signed for Everton, but will spend next season back in Belgium on loan at Anderlecht.

Meanwhile, Everton midfielder Aaron Lennon has returned to action in pre-season training after missing the latter stages of the last campaign to recover from a stress-related illness.

Lennon, 30, last played for the Premier League club in February and Everton released a statement supporting the player and saying he was receiving care and treatment for the illness.

The former Tottenham Hotspur winger received widespread support from players, pundits and fans all around the world and was expected to make a full recovery.

Lennon was pictured training with his Everton teammates as they begin preparations for their first pre-season match against Gor Mahia FC on July 13. - WIRE SERVICES

Everton make statement of intent with spending spree

Everton have done the most business of all their Premier League rivals since the season ended, spending over £85 million (S$152.2m) on six players.

Press Association Sport looks at the players manager Ronald Koeman has brought in to reshape his squad.

1 JORDAN PICKFORD (£25M PLUS £5M IN ADD-ONS)

The former Sunderland goalkeeper will be the club's joint-record signing should all the add-ons be activated and the England Under-21 international's fee is a record for a British goalkeeper.

Koeman will hope he solves the problem of inconsistent goalkeeping which dogged them last season.

2 DAVY KLAASSEN (£23.6M)

The midfielder, previously Ajax captain, has been brought in to provide more creativity in midfield and has been touted as the replacement for Ross Barkley - whose future at the club remains in doubt.

The 24-year-old also brings goals with 55 in 181 matches for the Dutch side.

3 MICHAEL KEANE (£25M PLUS £5M IN ADD-ONS)

Koeman needed to freshen up an ageing defence and the centre back, signed from Burnley for a fee which matches Pickford's as a potential club record, has been identified as the long-term leader at the back with Ashley Williams and club captain Phil Jagielka turning 33 and 35 respectively next month.

4 HENRY ONYEKURU (£7M)

Signed from relatively unknown Belgian club Eupen, the Nigeria international was joint-top scorer in the Belgian Super League last season. The 20-year-old striker will spend a year on loan at Anderlecht to continue his development.

5 SANDRO RAMIREZ (£5.2M)

The former Barcelona striker was signed from Malaga after Everton triggered his release clause.

His involvement in the European Under-21 Championship with Spain means a later arrival for pre-season, but 16 goals in La Liga last season should add more firepower to a side who were heavily reliant on Romelu Lukaku.

6 NATHANGELO MARKELO (UNDISCLOSED)

The Holland Under-18 international defender, signed from FC Volendam, will start in the Premier League 2-winning under-23 squad. - PA SPORT

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