When Rafa Benitez was appointed as the new manager of Everton it sparked controversy among the Goodison Park faithful.
Supporters were hanging banners outside of his house in protest of the former Liverpool boss being handed the keys to the club.
Their concerns made sense after he dubbed the Toffees a small team during his stint at Anfield.
However, Benitez has hit back at his critics with Everton witnessing a near-perfect start to the new season. They haven’t spent a great deal in the transfer window but have still amassed seven points from their first three games.
The quick-footed winger is a throwback to the type of signing David Moyes made during his stay at Everton and it seems to be working a treat as he dominates Premier League defences.
Though, despite his goal in the club’s 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday afternoon, it was actually a defender who stole the show.
Michael Keane has attracted his fair share of criticism this season and that’s completely justified. He has already made a plethora of errors leading to goals as he endures a torrid start to the campaign.
He turned too slowly against Leeds which allowed Patrick Bamford to pick up possession and then set up Mateusz Klich for a goal. Keane then lost his marker when Huddersfield scored against the Toffees in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
Yet, when the Toffees visited the south coast this weekend, Keane returned to form in emphatic fashion.
It will take a while for supporters to be convinced by him again but this showed he does indeed have the necessary qualities to shine under Benitez.
The £22.5m-rated England international was rock solid at the back against Brighton, winning 100% of the defensive duels he was involved in. That meant the centre-half won an impressive four tackles and produced five interceptions.
The defender was also calm and composed in possession of the ball. Keane registered a pass success rate of 92% which once more, was only bettered by the diminutive Allan.
If the centre-back can produce performances like this on a regular basis then he can still be a huge part of the Everton squad. If mistakes pop up again, however, Benitez will need to axe him quickly.