Keane: New Duo Already Impressing
Michael Keane says Ashley Young has already impressed the Everton squad during his first two weeks with the Toffees, revealing his former England teammate still looks in his prime.
Young, who joined the Blues on a one-year deal in mid-July, scored on his Everton debut, netting the only goal in the pre-season clash against Wigan Athletic.
Keane believes the experience of the former Premier League and Serie A winner could play a significant role for the Toffees in the upcoming campaign.
“I think Ash (Young) has settled in straight away and I think everyone can see what he brings,” said Keane. “He’s got so much experience and quality. He still plays like he’s in his peak, so I think he’s a great addition for us.
“He’s still really fit. He’s kept himself in great shape throughout every season. He’s no different now. He played a lot of games for Villa last year and, personally, I was surprised he didn’t get offered another year there.
“I think everyone at the Club is buzzing to have him with us and he’s shown already the qualities he can bring. He’s definitely fit enough and hopefully he can play a big part for us.”
The Blues’ second summer signing saw Arnaut Danjuma arrive on Merseyside, joining the Club on a season-long loan deal from Villarreal.
Discussing the arrival of the Dutch international, who has reached double figures for league goals in three separate seasons, Keane outlined the attributes that Danjuma could provide for Sean Dyche’s side.
“I’ve only seen him train once but we already know what he can bring: pace, skills, goals,” said Keane. “I think they’re things we needed in our team last year, so I’m sure he’ll be great.”
Keane featured in 11 matches under Dyche during the final three months of the campaign and averaged the most successful aerial duels for any Premier League player who played more than 500 minutes.
About to enter his seventh campaign with the Blues, he believes a full pre-season will help him to produce his best performances.
“I think I’ve always been at my best when I’ve had a full pre-season,” Keane admitted. “As much as it’s not always enjoyable to do all the running, I think I’ve had my best seasons when I’ve had a full pre-season. Most players would tell you that.
“When everyone’s fit, it gives you a better chance to perform. I’m just focusing on getting as fit as I can and making sure I’m sharp.
“I’ve enjoyed being back and working hard. I think the manager made it clear towards the end of last year that we’d be working really hard in pre-season and that’s been the case. You can tell everyone has relished it.
“Everyone has come back looking fit and you can tell we’re getting sharper every day.”