Michael Keane has explained why he chose Everton over boyhood club Manchester United, noting that he was attracted to Goodison Park by how much Ronald Koeman wanted him.
The 24-year-old, following an impressive campaign at Burnley, was closely linked with a £25m move to Old Trafford over the summer.
However, following Victor Lindelof’s arrival, the Englishman joined the Toffees for a fee of £30m, meaning Man United received £7.5m as part of a clause in his contract with Burnley.
And Keane, soon after signing for Everton, explained why moving to Merseyside felt like the right move for him.
“Of course it was a temptation – it’s your boyhood club but you have got to take your heart out of it sometimes and think what’s best for you,” he said.
“I feel as if this is the best place for me to come and continue my development. It’s a club with such big history and a great fan base so I can’t wait to pull on the shirt and play for this club.”
“I have been fortunate enough that in the clubs I have played in the past, the manager has played in my position as well and I feel like he was a very classy centre-half so he can still teach me things.
“I want to develop, I am only 24 years old, which is young for a centre-half but I feel how much they wanted me was a big factor as well.”
Keane was reportedly devastated at seeing Mourinho opt for Lindelof earlier this month, but the Portuguese’s decision to move for the Swede could actually serve as a blessing in disguise.
A regular spot in the starting XI, even with Lindelof not there, would have been far from certain: the likes of Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Daley Blind have all impressed in that area and Keane, above anything, needs game time ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
He will, you sense, brush aside the likes of Phil Jagielka, now 34, and Matthew Pennington, forming a strong partnership with Ashley Williams in a side that has already been radically transformed this summer.
Keane, unlike most players, did not fade away after leaving United but instead went from strength to strength, and deserves a regular spot at a club of Everton’s calibre.