Everton could offload one of their four senior centre-backs to leave next summer, with Mason Holgate looking the most vulnerable.
That’s according to Greg O’Keeffe, club correspondent for The Athletic.
Rafael Benitez currently has Holgate, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey and Michael Keane at his disposal in terms of centre-backs, with the former playing the fewest league minutes of the four this season with just 180.
Keane has started all seven matches, Mina five and Godfrey four (albeit largely as an auxiliary right back).
O’Keeffe was asked in a supporter mailbag for The Athletic whether he saw Everton selling either Keane or Holgate in 2022 ‘to help rebuild in other areas’.
He replied that ‘the club could move on’ one of the existing quartet to allow Benitez to recruit a centre-back ‘of his own’.
“I’d say that definitely should not be Keane,” he added, “which leaves the spotlight more on Mason Holgate.”
O’Keeffe added that the ‘answer will come from’ the number of opportunities afforded to Holgate when injuries aren’t a factor.
Holgate has evidently struggled for game-time and has come in for flak from numerous Everton fans whenever he has played, and his age and contract status probably means he could fetch a decent fee.
If Benitez is intent on culling his current centre-back options in order to bring in someone of his own preference in that department, the 24-year-old could well end up being the one who is sacrificed, as O’Keeffe has hinted.
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