FORMER Republic of Ireland youth international Michael Keane has signed a new five-year contract with Everton - committing his future to the club until the end of June 2025.
The 27-year-old defender has capped a “special few months” with his Blues deal following the birth of his daughter in June and an England recall last month.
Keane played every minute of Everton’s Premier League games post-lockdown last season, claiming a handful of man-of-the-match awards and maintaining an elevated level of performance he will employ as a benchmark when the new campaign kicks off this week.
The centre-back has made 94 Premier League appearances since signing from Burnley in summer 2017 and scored three goals.
Keane figured 31 times in the top-flight last term and became a regular for manager Carlo Ancelotti in the closing months of the campaign.
“I have loved my three years at Everton and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds,” Keane told evertontv.
“I am learning every day on the training pitch with the manager and all his staff.
“They have been brilliant and really got across the way they want us to play.”
He added: “The manager is one of the best there has been.
“I am hoping we can kick on this season and make the fans proud again.”
Keane, who has four caps for Ireland at U17 and U19 level, was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester to Irish parents.
He came through Manchester United’s famed academy as a youngster.
Now, as the football season kicks off once again, he claims he is ready to work and keen to progress.
“Before lockdown I had a good run of form and, hopefully, I can keep that going into this season and keep improving,” he said.
“I am not happy just staying where I am at the minute. I want to keep improving and keep learning.”
He added: “My best years are definitely ahead of me. I am working on things every day, striving to get better in every part of my game and, hopefully, I can show that.”