Everton manager Sean Dyche must drop defender Michael Keane for Monday’s trip to Brighton as the race for Premier League survival gathers pace.

The £30m defender had fallen out of favour with previous Everton manager Frank Lampard, making just one appearance before the appointment of Sean Dyche.

However, since the former Burnley pair have reunited, Keane has become a regular starter for the Toffees once more, at the expense of the on-loan Conor Coady.

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-BURNLEY
Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images

Interestingly, Coady started alongside James Tarkowski for Sean Dyche’s first four games in charge of the Blues, picking up two wins and two defeats, with four goals conceded and two clean sheets maintained.

However, in the 10 games since Michael Keane was reintroduced to the starting XI, Everton have kept just two clean sheets and conceded a whopping 20 goals, meaning that the Blues have conceded, on average, twice per game.

In that time, Everton have won just one, a 1-0 victory at home to Brentford and have been on the losing end on four occasions with the five draws picked up during this period offering a glimmer of hope for Premier League survival.

Keane is not the only fault as Dyche and Everton struggle with survival battle

Of course, Everton’s troubles are not entirely Michael Keane’s fault, but the statistics since his reintroduction to the starting XI are extremely worrying.

Indeed, the 30-year-old has also conceded two penalties in the 10 games he has played, though fortunately for the Blues, only one of them was converted.

His dramatic strike in the 1-1 draw against Spurs at Goodison Park atoned for his error in conceding a penalty when the game was in the balance at 0-0, while his teammate Jordan Pickford spared his blushes at Leicester City last week as he saved James Maddison’s spot kick.

Leicester City v Everton FC - Premier League
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With both Conor Coady and Yerry Mina available for Everton, persevering with the error-prone Keane would be playing fast and loose with the club’s top-flight status.

With four games remaining, Sean Dyche must now drop Michael Keane, or face the catastrophic consequences.

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