By Laura O'Leary

12th Nov, 2017 | 7:36pm

'Great signing' – Stubbs hails impact of this Everton star

By Laura O’Leary

Club icon Alan Stubbs has backed Michael Keane to improve his form and be the “future of Everton”.

In an interview with the Sunday Express, the 46-year-old was positive about the young defender, backing him to do well at his old club.

He said: “He (Keane) is the future of Everton in that back line. I think he was a great signing.”

The 24-year-old defender joined the Toffees from Burnley in the summer for a deal that could reportedly end up totalling £30million.

Keane signed a five-year deal upon joining the club, which means his current deal is not due to expire until June 2022.

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Keane has featured 16 times for Everton this season across all competitions, and even scored a goal in the Europa League qualifier against Hajduk Split.

The Manchester born defender is the product of Manchester United’s youth system but failed to cement himself in his local club’s first team.

In fact, Keane was only able to make five appearances for the Manchester United’s first team and four of those came in the League Cup.

Manchester United sent him out of several loans spells, which saw him spend time at Leicester City, Derby County, Blackburn Rovers and Burnley.

The defender ended up impressing Burnley enough during his loan spell with them, that they signed him permanently in January 2015.

Keane is currently involved with the England squad, after Southgate drafted him into his squad for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

In other Everton news, this first team striker claims he is in the dark about his future at the club.

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