Michael Keane has been one of the more regular names on a Marco Silva teamsheet, but the centre-back is well aware that he has played a part in our struggles this season.
The uneasy England ace has been discussing his role at Goodison Park with Sky Sports following his latest adventures with the Three Lions, where he started both Euro 2020 qualifiers and scored his first international goal on Monday night against Montenegro.
The two caps handed to him by Gareth Southgate over the international break brought his England tally to seven, but Keane is not keen on resting on past results to see more come his way.
In turn, that should pay dividends on Merseyside and see the 26-year-old become a greater leader for us, as, despite joining in 2017, the Manchester United product has only just started to feel at home.
“It has been an up and down journey, but I’m starting to feel like I really belong here now,” he said. “It’s been a good season for me, I’ve had a lot of good games. The team struggled for two or three months, the whole team was inconsistent, and I was part of that, but in general, I think I’ve been really good.
“I’ve been working hard, training has been good, and I feel a lot fitter than I did last year, so I think that’s helped me. I’m just feeling more confident than I have and, hopefully, I can show that from now until the end of the season.
“I’ve always had the belief in myself, but when things aren’t going well for you on the pitch you sort of lose a bit of confidence. But I’ve always had the belief that I’m good enough to play here.
“It’s obviously a top-class club, and you have to play well week in week out to prove that to the fans and to people at the club, and I think I’ve managed to do that this season.
“But it’s not something I want to rest on, I want to keep kicking on. I’m still youngish for a centre-half and I’ve got a lot of learning to do still.”
Out of the 31 Premier League games played to date under Silva, Keane has only missed three, two of which came as a result of his skull fracture sustained in our 2-2 draw at Bournemouth where he nodded home his second Toffees goal.