Keane is record departure from Turf

Michael Keane has swapped Burnley for Everton for a fee that could rise to a club record £30m.

Monday, 3rd July 2017, 9:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:43 am
Michael Keane
Michael Keane

Keane has signed a five-year deal with the Toffees, equalling the Goodison Park club's transfer record, while topping the £7m Burnley received from Southampton for Jay Rodriguez in 2011.

The 24-year-old admitted it was a tough decision to leave: "Firstly, what a tough decision it has been to leave this amazing football club.

“I can honestly say I have had the best three years of my life here, on and off the pitch.

“I have had a lot of special moments while playing for you, notably my two goals against Brighton and Middlesbrough in the Championship winning season.

“Of course, we created history as a team last season by staying in the Premier League and by playing regularly it helped my dream come true of playing for England.

“I will never be grateful enough for the work Sean Dyche, Ian Woan, Tony Loughlan and Billy Mercer have done with me on a daily basis to get me to this point in my career.

“The gaffer showed a lot of faith in me three years ago, when it could have been easy for me to stay at United and look for an opportunity there.

“He convinced me to come to Burnley and develop under his guidance and I put that down as one of the best decisions I've ever made, so thanks gaffer!

“I also want to say thanks to all the backroom staff, of which there are too many to name: strength and conditioning coaches, analysts, nutritionist, physios, chef, media team and (player liaison officer) Bumble.

“As for my team mates, I can honestly say I've never enjoyed playing with a group of people more.

“They have the never-say-die attitude and the talent to go with it. From day one they welcomed me into the group and I have made friends for life with them all and will miss seeing them every day."

Keane also thanked the supporters: “Finally, the fans. You have been amazing with me and the team since day one through low times and the many successful times we have had together.

“That support is what drives the team on and there are many games where we feel you helped push us over the line.

“Even when we were struggling away from home last season you continued to travel to every game and sing your hearts out for us and we thankfully rewarded you with a win at Palace!

“Burnley Football Club will always have a special place in my heart and I wish you all the best for the upcoming season. I can't wait to play at Turf Moor again in March."

But he is looking forward to the challenges ahead: “I’m absolutely delighted to be at Everton, a fantastic football club with passionate fans and a great tradition and I can’t wait to come into training tomorrow to meet all the lads.

“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.

“I’ve also got to say thanks to the Chairman Bill Kenwright - he’s been absolutely fantastic getting the deal through. I also spoke with Steve Walsh, who I knew from my time at Leicester four or five years ago, and they really convinced me that this was the place to come and that Everton is the perfect club for me.”

Blues boss Ronald Koeman has courted the player for some time, and was delighted to get his man: “Michael was high among the players we wanted to bring to Everton this summer and I'm delighted he is here at the club.

"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."