Everton have had a tumultuous 18 months at Goodison Park with a difficult relegation scrap last season and there has now been further strain on the side as they struggle again in the Premier League over the current campaign.
The Toffees are currently 17th in the league table after a run of poor performances over their first 15 outings and are now just one point clear of the relegation zone ahead of their Boxing Day clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers next week.
Indeed, Frank Lampard will have the opportunity to strengthen and redevelop his squad when the January transfer window opens again in the new year and it could also be a chance to continue his clear-out of the deadwood on the blue side of Merseyside.
The former Chelsea boss managed to part ways with some of the squad’s biggest liabilities in the summer with Dele Alli, Cenk Tosun, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Allan and Andre Gomes all sent packing and more recently Salomon Rondon left the club via mutual consent earlier this week.
Now, Lampard could finally ditch Michael Keane too as the centre-back – who was dubbed a “Championship level” defender by Jamie Carragher – is attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs keen to acquire his services in January.
Liverpool Echo report that Everton are ready to part ways with the centre-back after signing Conor Coady and James Tarkowski in the summer and they should have no trouble in finding investors in the player with Leicester City, West Ham United and Fulham all named as potential suitors.
Coady and Tarkowski have already developed a flourishing and solid centre-back partnership at Goodison Park which has left Keane completely out of favour in the team this season, and when you consider his troubling performances last season it is no wonder Lampard is ready to let him go.
The £80k-per-week liability had the joint-third worst record in the entire Premier League for errors that led to goals in the 2021/22 campaign and his poor defensive performances were a big contributor to the unstable season that unfolded.
Ex-Leeds United striker Noel Whelan launched a scathing attack on Keane’s displays over last season, labelling the defender as “abysmal” following a clash with Burnley.
“I’ve watched Keane’s positioning and it’s been abysmal,” he began.
“Everton can’t defend set pieces and he’s meant to be one of their best in the air. The zonal marking system has been a disaster but Keane has to deal with it better.”
“It’s baffling how he didn’t deal with balls into the box better against Burnley. He is a professional player, an international player. It was pathetic defending.”
That being said, selling Keane in January would be a move that suits all parties, namely Everton who would be ridding themselves of a player who is not up to scratch, while bringing in extra money in order to finance other deals in the market.