Everton defender Mason Holgate is at risk of being axed like Ademola Lookman, after Marco Silva stated that he has to “push” the promising youngster in training, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo.
Holgate has so far been restricted to 17 minutes of Premier League action this term (TransferMarkt), as Silva persists with a centre-back partnership of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina.
The 22-year-old made his first appearance of the season as a late second-half substitute in his side’s 1-0 victory over Watford following an injury to Lucas Digne, but returned to the bench as the Blues travelled and lost to Aston Villa last time out.
Further minutes may be in line after Silva confirmed he would have no concerns over starting the third-choice centre-half against Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup. However, the Portuguese added that he must “push” the Doncaster-born talent to get the most out of him.
“If Mason is not ready to play, then we have a big, big problem in our football club,” the Everton head coach said. “Like you know, we’ve started the season with Michael and Mina. Mason is a player I am always pushing, and a player every time, I think, can do more than he is doing.
“Not because he doesn’t want to, but it is up to me to push him more and more and more. About focus, about desire to win and improve every single day, to get better every single day, because if he does that, then he will be a better player, I have no doubts about that.”
Silva conceding that he must urge Holgate to improve should act as a worrying sign for the young centre-back, who spent the latter half of last season on loan with West Bromwich Albion where he featured predominantly at right-back (TransferMarkt).
The Everton manager noted throughout his first campaign at Goodison Park that former Blues prospect Lookman had “big, big potential” (Liverpool Echo), but would not play the now-RB Leipzig forward unless he delivered in training.
The Portuguese felt Lookman would display the talent to be a starting member one day, but often left him with “doubts” 24 hours later – leading to the 21-year-old playing just 112 minutes (TransferMarkt) of Premier League football between his last top-flight start and moving to the Bundesliga for a reported £22.5million (BBC).
“We know what his quality is, and you know I believe in his quality since the first day I saw him, so it has to be [the] same Lookman every day with the same desire every day,” Silva noted in March.
“I keep believing 100% in his quality as a football player, there are no doubts about that. But what I want to see coming from him is the same desire coming from him, each day, to achieve that, to reach that level he wants and the level I believe he can play at.
“I see one Lookman doing fantastic things one day and I say: ‘Ok, it will be this week’ and maybe the next day I have doubts. I don’t want this because, in my opinion, he has big, big potential.”
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