Everton started their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Goodison Park, with a first-half Wayne Rooney goal sealing victory for the Toffees.

After a lacklustre first-half display, Ronald Koeman’s men looked much improved in the second 45 minutes after switching to a back four.

While Rooney’s name will naturally dominate tomorrow’s headlines after his winning goal, Everton fans were quick to point out the performance of another man making his Toffees Premier League bow.

Michael Keane put in an assured showing at the back for Koeman’s men, starting in a three-man defence alongside Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams and finishing in a back four alongside the club captain.

The former Burnley enforcer was signed at sizeable expense over the summer and it was clear to see why Everton were so willing to splash the cash on the England international.

The Toffees fans have been crying out for an assured performer at the back, with question marks over the remainder of the club’s centre-halves in recent seasons.

However, Keane’s showing against Stoke has clearly instilled added belief in the Everton ranks, with a clean sheet another bonus from the win.

The 24-year-old was in the wars during the game after receiving a head blow, but looked like a real leader for the hosts as they hung on at the end to secure victory.

Keane even won a number of headers against Peter Crouch and his distribution with the ball at his feet was also impressive.

The Everton fans were quick to praise a number of their new men after the final whistle but the verdict on their new central defender was unanimously positive.

If the Toffees can become more secure at the back this season then a top-six finish will surely be in reach, with the supporters clearly believing that Keane will be a crucial man in the club’s hopes of a successful campaign – here are the best tweets.


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