As per 90min, the Hammers have been linked with a move for the 29-year-old in the current transfer window as David Moyes seeks to add further additions to his squad ahead of next term.
The Scotsman has already acted swiftly to bring in centre-back Nayef Aguerd from Ligue 1 side Rennes and has recently secured the permanent capture of Alphonse Areola after his successful loan move last term, although the belief is that the former Manchester United manager is still targeting multiple new signings for the Irons.
Previous reports have also suggested that the east London outfit are keen on bringing in the 12-cap Toffees defender as one of those reinforcements, with Moyes said to be a ‘big admirer’ of the Englishman.
With excitement building amid the prospect of a huge summer of transfer activity at the London Stadium, a move for the 6 foot 3 giant could be viewed as something of a step backwards by the supporters, with the £18m-rated centre-back perhaps not the calibre of player that the Irons faithful are hoping to see at the club.
The Hammers may point to the remarkable success story of Craig Dawson, who arrived to little fanfare only to quickly become something of a cult hero. However, the former Watford man is a hard-nosed, old-school defender who’s willing to put his body on the line, while Keane has looked shaky both in possession and in his defensive duties on Merseyside.
The £69k-per-week Everton dud endured a particularly gruelling campaign at Goodison Park last time out, with Frank Lampard’s side only narrowly staving off the drop in the penultimate game of the season.
While finding the net had been an issue for the Toffees – netting just 43 league goals in the 2021/22 season – it was arguably in defence where the biggest issue lay, with Keane and his comrades at the back shipping 66 goals in total, the fifth-worst record in the Premier League.
Following one particularly dismal defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in March, when Antonio Conte’s side ran out 5-0 victors, the former Burnley man was part of a defence which was berated by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, with the Liverpool legend slamming Everton’s “Championship” level back four.
The “clumsy” defender – as dubbed by Samuel Luckhurst – did manage to chip in with three goals and two assists last term, but was largely something of a liability for his side in truth, making two errors leading to goals and, ironically, picking up a reckless red card away to West Ham in April.
Already on a yellow card, the Stockport native needlessly ploughed through the back of Michail Antonio and was duly handed his marching orders.
That rash mistake leading to stinging criticism from talkSPORT pundit Perry Groves, who stated: “He looks like he’s always struggling. He’s always a little bit nervy and not having a clear thought process. His positional play hasn’t been great.
“I know Everton as a team haven’t been particularly brilliant and haven’t been particularly been well structured but as you get older and more experienced you get better in terms of your positional play, he’s actually got worse, he’s gone the other way.
“If you’re sat down in the dressing room and say to him: ‘Explain to me what was going through your head’, he wouldn’t be able to. It’s mind-blowing. He’s not a young player any more, he’s experienced.”
That assessment should surely serve as a warning sign to those calling the shots at the London Stadium, with supporters unlikely to be best pleased about the prospect of signing a player who played so poorly against them last term.
If that clash had been an audition for a summer move, the assumption would be that Keane failed it.