The Mirror thinks a deal to take Michael Keane from Burnley to Liverpool is all but done. The Liverpool Echo think Keane is a fallback option at best. In a case like this, it’s always safer to go with the local paper and their club-connected journalists. Jamie Carragher, though, wouldn’t have had to wait for the Echo’s take.
The former Liverpool defender heard the whispers from The Mirror about Keane and wasn’t having it. Not because Keane isn’t a solid defender, but because he’s not a clear upgrade on what Liverpool already have and, even more than that perhaps, he’s not a player used to the demands of playing for a top half club.
“I like him and he’s had a really good season,” Carragher said while appearing on Sky Sports. “But it’s a big jump from Burnley to Liverpool and a completely different way of playing. The 4-4-2 at Burnley is a lot of protection, maybe similar to what we’re seeing right now with Mamadou Sakho at Crystal Palace.
“Jürgen was talking about centre backs at top clubs a few weeks ago, where the questions asked are completely different. Then if you’re going to buy Keane, it’s going to be £25M and is he better than Lovren and Matip? He’s maybe the same level. I don’t think he’s at the level to come in and make a massive difference.”
If Keane were to arrive, it would likely be as a new third choice defender, a permanent replacement for the unfavoured and on loan Sakho and a player to bump Ragnar Klavan down the depth chart. And for £25M, that would be a big spend on a player who, at best, might end up competing for starting minutes.
Given the cost and that Liverpool have repeatedly signalled they want to bring in a clear first choice centre half—to the point they reportedly aren’t put off by Virgil van Dijk’s £50M pricetag—and it would be hard to make sense of a Keane signing when Liverpool need a defensive signing who can make a massive difference.