By Michael Brown

8th Sep, 2020 | 8:43pm

Pundit Exclusive: This may be real reason for Everton 27-year-old's bumper new deal

Michael Brown has suggested that Michael Keane may have been due a new Everton contract because he reached a certain number of games for the club.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs midfielder also claimed Everton still needed to improve their defence.

This site revealed last week that Keane had put pen-to-paper on a lucrative five-year contract with the Toffees.

After joining the club from Burnley for a reported initial fee of £25m, the England international had two years left on his initial contract before putting pen-to-paper on a new deal.

Asked by Football Insider whether he is surprised that Keane has been rewarded with a new deal, Brown said:

“I think you’ve got to be aware that we don’t know what targets for re-negotiations were in the deal, so he may have been due one because he played x amount of games, to have a renewal.

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“He’s a player who, going forward, can contribute a lot for Everton.

“He’s an honest defender and I look at it and think these clubs, in the current climate, are trying to tie them down to new deals.

“It’s a position I still think they need to improve in, the defensive areas, so I think it’s a good sign.”

Keane has played 107 times across all competitions for the Toffees since joining in the summer of 2017.

The 27-year-old suffered a dip in form at the beginning of last season and was dropped from the England squad but retained his Everton place under new boss Carlo Ancelotti.

He played every single minute of the Toffees’ last 11 games league games and earned an England recall for their Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark.

In other Everton news, Carlo Ancelotti has been told to bin two big Everton names.