Michael Keane says he is aiming to improve and become a better player at Everton, following a wretched spell on the sidelines.
The 24-year-old who signed from Burnley in the summer got off to a bright start to life at Goodison Park but injuries have hampered his performances and ability to kick on as he should have.
Speaking to EvertonFC.com, Keane said he still has “a lot of learning to do” and that he will “become a much better player” on Merseyside.
The former Burnley man was signed by former Everton boss Ronald Koeman over the summer for a fee in the region of £30 million pounds and had been excepted to fill the role that Phil Jagielka has held for the Blues for so many years.
He has started 15 of the Blues’ 23 Premier League matches so far this term but Keane has been in and out of the squad with numerous injuries to his foot - twice with a gash that reared its head following the New Year’s Day defeat at home to Manchester United.
Keane added that he is “being hampered at the minute with the injuries” and wants to get back to playing consistently.
During his time at Turf Moor, the defender made 108 appearances - rarely spending time sidelined with injuries.
He said that missing time, especially with a visit to hospital with an infected cut to his leg, has “had an effect” on his confidence and his play.
The England international wants to get back to playing week in and week out for Everton as he believes that is way to becoming the player is supposed to be.
He told the clubs website that his first few months “were really positive,” reinforced by the fact Koeman’s side progressed in the Europa League following wins against MFK Ruzomberok and Hajduk Split.
Yet when results in the Premier League turned bad, Keane says he “lost a bit of confidence” as the squad went through, as he described, “really tough few months.”
Working with Allardyce
Following Koeman’s departure, the club turned to Sam Allardyce to steady the ship and turn results around.
Keane said that the arrival of the former England boss “really lifted the place” and in turn, the team were able to get a number of “great results.”
The defender also recognises that you have to maintain standards when working with the 63-year-old, saying that the squad has to “perform well in training every day” and “work really hard” to prove to Allardyce they deserve a starting role.
Keane could return for Everton on Saturday, as the Blues host West Bromwich Albion.