Everton are set to commence talks with defender Mason Holgate about a new deal at Goodison Park, according to Football Insider.
The 23-year-old, who is valued at £14m by the club, is likely to be offered improved terms by the Toffees’ director of football Marcel Brands (as per Football Insider) to fend off reported interest from other Premier League suitors.
Football Insider recently claimed that Newcastle had identified the centre-back as a potential transfer target in January.
Holgate has seen his fortunes at Everton improve drastically over the last few months. From being loaned out to West Brom for the second half of last season and failing to start any of their first nine Premier League games this season, he has been ever-present in their subsequent nine league matches.
He gave assured performances against top four opposition earlier this month, winning four tackles and making four interceptions in the derby defeat to Liverpool and then recording five successful tackles in the win over Chelsea. His display against the Blues was lauded by BBC pundit Garth Crooks, who said that “his overall contribution to his team’s efforts was quite brilliant”.
Those figures are indicative of Holgate’s ability to snuff out opposition attacks and avert danger – his average of 1.9 successful tackles per game is the highest of Everton’s centre-backs, while his 2.5 clearances per game average is beaten by only three players in the Toffees’ squad. [via WhoScored]
The 23-year-old also has versatility among his attributes, having shifted to a defensive midfield role from his usual centre-back position in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United last weekend. His display at Old Trafford drew high praise from a lot of Everton fans on Twitter.
Holgate’s rise from being dispatched on loan earlier in 2019 to becoming a mainstay of the team in recent weeks has been quite impressive and Brands’ desire to give him an improved contact summarises how important he has become to Everton.
Whether new manager Carlo Ancelotti (whose appointment was confirmed this morning) will show the same faith in him as Marco Silva did in the dying days of his Toffees reign remains to be seen, but the 23-year-old has given himself every opportunity of being an integral part of the Ancelotti era at Goodison Park.
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