Gabriel Agbonlahor has hailed Everton defender Michael Keane as “outstanding” after his latest display against Liverpool.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aston Villa and England striker suggested the centre-back is benefitting from the competition for places at Goodison Park.
Keane registered 13 clearances in the Toffees’ 2-0 win over the Premier League champions at Anfield – a season-high for an Everton player, according to squawka.
The 12-time England international has been a near ever-present this season and has been partnered at the back by Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and summer signing Ben Godfrey.
At Anfield on Saturday, he lined up in a five-man backline alongside Seamus Coleman, Godfrey, Holgate and Lucas Digne.
Asked for his assessment of Keane’s performances and a reason for his marked improvement, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “He’s done very well this season.
“With Everton, there’s so much competition in that position because they’ve got Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey.
“Now the first choice is Keane and Godfrey but they know if they don’t perform well, they’ve got Holgate who can come in, Mina who has done well at times.
“His performances have been outstanding, he’s just to keep it up now.”
Keane and Mina have been Carlo Ancelotti’s first-choice centre-back pairing with Holgate and Godfrey filling at full-back with Digne and Coleman both suffering injuries this season.
Colombia international Mina was not in the matchday squad for the trip to Liverpool as he is struggling with a calf injury.