Rio Ferdinand tweets stat comparing England's defenders - one of them is struggling

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Calls are growing for Michael Keane to earn a regular spot in the England set-up after his performances for Burnley this season.

The Clarets sit 11th in the Premier League table, thanks largely to some outstanding performances from the centre-back, as well as goalkeeper and compatriot Tom Heaton.

Keane is undoubtedly establishing himself as a top-class defender, so much so that he's even being linked with a move back to his old club, Manchester United.

As a youth player at Old Trafford, the 23-year-old must have looked up to established centre-backs like Rio Ferdinand, so he'll be glad to know the former United star is in his camp.

Ferdinand hasn't explicitly said who he thinks should be starting for England, but he did tweet a rather interesting stat.

Of course, it's worth bearing in mind that Burnley have to do quite a bit more defending than Gary Cahill's Chelsea or John Stones' Manchester City. All the same, it makes Keane look pretty decent.

Ferdinand's counting skills might leave a little to be desired - there are actually five options, not four - but he still makes a fair point.

Poor efforts? 

As you can see, it's not pleasant reading for Stones. To be fair, it's not great for Chris Smalling either as he's not exactly in the team to score goals, but at least he's adding something.

Cahill and Phil Jagielka must be approaching the end of their international careers, so there's always hope for Keane going forward too.

If Gareth Southgate is appointed permanent England boss as expected, it's possible he'll put his faith in young players having been in charge of the under-21s for three years and overseen much of the Burnley star's development with the Young Lions.

And even if you can never read too much into stats like this one, it's just another timely reminder that Keane is right up there among the best of English defenders right now.

Should Michael Keane be starting for England? Have your say in the comments. 

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