Can Mason Holgate replace Man City's £47.5m man?

10 August  35 Comments  [Jump to last]
Simon Jones wonders whether Everton's other rough diamond picked up from Barnsley can take the mantle from his former Oakwell club-mate of the Blues' next big thing at centre-half:
Mason Holgate is a tall, stylish ball-playing defender that Everton signed as a teenager from Barnsley for £2million after barely 20 first team games. Sound familiar? He can play right back or centre back and has such insouciant temperament that Koeman thought nothing of asking him to mark Zlatan Ibrahimovic during Wayne Rooney's testimonial at Old Trafford last week.

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Reader Comments (35)

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John Malone
1 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:22:14
I've only watched Holgate a couple of times but from where I'm standing he look's to be as natural if not more so than Stones as in he has the ability to play out but already has the brain to not overplay!

For me he is just like Rio Ferdinand and I honestly believe he will become as good if not a better all round defender than Stones!

Tom Bowers
2 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:24:36
Have to agree this lad looks a sure fire winner.
Hopefully he will be a fixture soon in the first team set-up if needed.
Ian Jones
3 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:24:57
How great would this be if Mason develops as well as hoped. Hopefully we will be in better shape as a team over the next few years to keep him.
John Dean
4 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:33:55
He is a pleasing player to watch but, as a central defender, I fear he will get pushed off the ball too easily both in the air and on the ground. Stones is a much better player at the moment.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:36:06
Too much potential. Sell him!!
Oliver Molloy
6 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:39:40
He looks like he has all the natural attributes that could make him mighty!
Good coaching and the right attitude and we have another very exciting prospect.

There are people at the club who think he will be better than the guy who left us to be with his buddies at Man City.

Everton Wint
7 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:51:38
I think this lad has really surprised Koeman, and I feel we will see plenty of him this season. Koeman will have us in the top six by Xmas, I say this because he's buying players that fit the jigsaw. ie Power, pace, movement, aggression and brains. Now watch how he'll put it all together. COYB
John Daley
9 Posted 10/08/2016 at 00:03:35
So, they've already earmarked the next young Everton player they'll want to engineer a move for then? Starting early this time.

Wish we could have one promising young player who flew under the radar without unreasonable expectations, hype and 'would love to see him at one of the Sky favourites' shite being slapped on their shoulders as soon as they achieve any slight success.

Grooming, that's what it is. Just have to hope Koeman's not the type to court attention by blowing smoke up his arse and the lad himself can 'stay away from the guy with the funny eye' for a little longer than Stones did.

Colin Williams
10 Posted 11/08/2016 at 00:30:19
This lad has all the attributes for a top player. Great future! Shame... BUT NOT WITH US! Soon has he makes a mistake... Look out!!

If he's not gobby enough, or doesn't scream at players or misses a header... Look fecking out! The mob will be after him!!!

Anthony Dwyer
11 Posted 11/08/2016 at 00:36:52
Mason is a talented boy, but not many centre half's can play in the Premier League at his age, Stones was gifted.

Let the lad train with Funes Mori, Jags and Williams for a season, give him the EFL Cup an FA Cup games when possible and see were he's at.

If things need freshening up later on in the season, loan him out to a Championship side.

Victor Jones
12 Posted 11/08/2016 at 01:13:52
Should he play a couple of good games, then just sit back and wait for City and Chelsea to come a-calling. The merry-go-round starts all over again. I would love to see him play a few games alongside Williams and if he performs, then he's a fixture...Every report about him is positive, even on ToffeeWeb. But what then do you do with Jags and Funes Mori (is he injured?). Also what happens to Browning and Galloway. Can Koeman keep them all happy? I hope that he can. Because nowadays everything is about having a strong squad.Slightly off topic, but how did the 1969-70 Champions team cope with playing almost every game? With no real cover. Is football really more demanding nowadays?
Jay Harris
13 Posted 11/08/2016 at 02:30:16
He has showed a much better sense of awareness than JS and can pick a great pass. I feel his height is his only weakness for a CB.
Ernie Baywood
14 Posted 11/08/2016 at 02:42:26
Far too early for these expectations. He did quite well in pre-season (remembering it's a much lower intensity). Nothing incredible - just quite well.

We've got to be careful that his performance against low expectations doesn't boost our perception compared with better performers suffering from higher expectations.

Long career ahead of this lad - let's give him time to develop.

David Chait
15 Posted 11/08/2016 at 03:38:23
I see he is 6'3... Geez for some reason I had him as a small guy who had some growing to do.. He will fill out more but at least he does have the height.. And based in the Man U game clearly the pace too.

I'm not convinced RK is that interested in developing our youth and will leave it completely to Unsworth to have them first team ready.. Good luck to the lad..

Mike Green
16 Posted 11/08/2016 at 06:06:13
John #9 - "Grooming, that's what it is."

I'd never thought of it like that but yeah, that's exactly what it is. Well said.

Martin Nicholls
17 Posted 11/08/2016 at 07:01:36
David#15 - he's a bit under 6ft
Laurie Hartley
18 Posted 11/08/2016 at 07:20:16
It seems there is a bit of confusion about his height. According to the article he said:
"I'm 6'-3" now and starting to fill out".

Sounds good to me.

Like Victor Jones (#12) – I am watching the progress of Browning and Galloway with interest.

I don't think Browning who is older than Holgate is 6' so my personal view is that he is going to be a monster of a right back. I hope so.

Peter Gorman
19 Posted 11/08/2016 at 09:12:51
Colin my good man at 5, for your sake please let it go!

Stones wanted to leave and there isn't a great deal the club can do with a situation like that but hold out for the highest price.

This is just an interesting little puff piece about a player who should be on the journos radar given he played in Rooney's testimonial.

He comes across as a nice fellow but so did Stones so make of that what you will. However, I can't see Holgate becoming as utterly demoralised under Koeman's management so there is always that.

Peter Gorman
20 Posted 11/08/2016 at 09:16:28
Laurie, if Browning becomes a right back it will be in the tackling, limited Hibbo mould.

Browning offers very little going forward so I always imagined him instead as a monster centre half.

Sadly, that injury last season has set him majorly back to the extent I'm not sure he'll have much future with us at all ahead of Holgate, Pennington, Galloway etc.

Good luck to him.

Tim Sharpe
21 Posted 11/08/2016 at 09:37:18
@Peter – Colin known for one or two tongue-in-cheek remarks as well as the occasional clairvoyant prediction.
Paul Andrews
22 Posted 11/08/2016 at 09:55:36
Mason will be a better defender than John in my opinion.

He shows far more awareness of space around him,more awareness of runs being made off him. And most importantly for a defender he is proactive not reactive like John is at the moment.

An old but true saying: "Good defenders don't go to ground too often". A saying you could not use for John unfortunately. A lot of his defensive blocks and tackles are last-ditch because he has given the forward space initially.

I wish John well in his career but believe we have by far the best of the deal.

Chris James
23 Posted 11/08/2016 at 09:59:28
Terence Leong
24 Posted 11/08/2016 at 10:08:36
Victor Jones @12, football as a whole was playing small squads up till the late 90s and early 2000s. The Everton '85 winning team was basically the same 11 players, with three more in support. Kevin Richardson and Alan Harper were the main go to substitutes or replacements when someone got injured. Up front, it was mainly Heath and Sharp, till Heath was injured and Gray replaced him till the end of the season.

The '87 winning team was ahead of its time in the sense of a lot more chopping and changing, but that was due to injuries, rather than purposeful squad rotations.

According to many pundits, ex-players and managers, it seems that the contributing factors to injuries are multi-fold:

The game is much faster, meaning that when players collide, the impact is much greater.

Players, while fitter, are also covering a lot more ground than what they used to e.g. it's very common for a player to clock in 10 km of running a game, and these are usually in the form of sprints, hard running etc. The wear and tear is significant.

The boots offer a lot less protection because they are lighter, made with less hardy leather (more synthetic in nature). Hence metatarsal injuries are more common nowadays compared to the past.

There is a claim about the kind of synthetic pitches and the make of the boots making it easier for players' foot getting caught, resulting in twisted ankles etc.

Players and managers are keener to keep the playing careers longer, and are less likely to risk playing with injury; previously, players are more likely to carry on playing even with injuries, getting jabs and painkillers.

Also, that could explain why most players back had shorter careers.

Of course, the counter argument is that, back in the day, players were chopped down, booted up, and the first tackle is usually foul free (I remember seeing Kevin Ratcliffe as a master of it, going in from behind, and then stretching his hand out in apology, getting away with it artfully).

It could also be that kids growing up in a more comfortable environment nowadays are less resilient, and less likely to want to get on with it.

Niall McIlhone
26 Posted 11/08/2016 at 11:10:48
Mason and Tyias Browning are both very promising youngsters, but it appears that RK is going for experience in the CB positions: my hope is that we do opt for the "back five" approach with Jags to the right,

Funes Mori left and Williams between the two, with SC and LB playing as genuine attacking wing backs and Gueye as a single holding midfielder. We are in the interesting position of having very good young players as options in defence and midfield, something we have struggled with in the past.

Phill Thompson
27 Posted 11/08/2016 at 11:10:53
He's certainly developing fast both physically and in the playing sense, but last season for the U21s he made a few crucial mistakes which resulted in goals being scored. Nothing wrong with that, young defenders make mistakes and learn from them. But despite being on the bench a couple of times he's yet to get any PL minutes under is belt. Subsequently, Connolly, Pennington and Kenny all played at right back ahead of him, a position he was originally in the squad to cover.

At centre back he showed a great understanding with Galloway in the games they played together for the U21s, and I would have said Galloway is ahead of him. Playing right CB helps as potentially he will get more minutes there or be used as cover. He's got exciting potential but a long way to go yet to show he's ready for the Premier League.

Raymond Fox
29 Posted 11/08/2016 at 11:43:02
Like Phil, I prefer Galloway, the lad has class written all over him. I admit I have not seen enough of Holgate to judge him correctly so I am biased in that respect.

With the signing of Williams and possibly Kone, I hope these young players get a chance for first team football. For all the way over the top criticism of Martinez, he was brave enough to give young players playing time.

Liam Reilly
30 Posted 11/08/2016 at 12:02:57
Peter #20
"Browning offers very little going forward"

Couldn't disagree more. The lad did very well going forward in his Derby Debut cameo.

He just needs time to recover from a nasty injury.

Peter Gorman
31 Posted 11/08/2016 at 13:46:45
Sure Liam, but I based my comment on watching him at Rb over several games for the academy and young England squads. Who knows, maybe he has changed.

And Ray, not as sure Galloway has 'class' written all over him but he certainly has 'winner'. He has impressed me hugely with the way he stands up for himself and his colleagues. The kind of personality we need and thankfully there are more like him in the academy.

Darren Hind
32 Posted 11/08/2016 at 19:24:29
Love this lad, but this club has just about lost its soul. any of that fancy football lark will have the philistines screaming for the big boot. no nonsense " proper defending"a brief period of this will have him scampering for the exit doors . . They have previous


Keith Harrison
33 Posted 11/08/2016 at 19:43:16
Holgate, in the brief glimpses I have seen, already looks to have better positional sense than JS. I really think he can eclipse what Stones will do.
Dazza and Glazza, take that chill pill. The School of Science did not close it's doors when Stones went this week. We shifted on a beyond his years 2nd year student, and brought a no-nonsense prefect in to steady the school ship until messrs Moshi, Walsh and Koeman's long term plan can be realised. A student remember who was seduced by those fur coated no-knickererd trollopes from New Money Citeeeh who had made it bleedingly obvious that he wanted to go.
The club hasn't sold it's soul, it's just about to add a brass section and get it's mojo back.
Get in The Winslow Sat Darren - you can buy me a coke.

By the way, I intend to bring and lay a wreath at Dixie's statue on behalf of the ToffeeWeb Offside Forum in memory of Harold Mattthews. Probably round the 1.30 mark for anyone interested.

Dean Adams
34 Posted 11/08/2016 at 19:49:36
Keith. Great gesture on behalf of the "OF" lads and lasses in memory of Harold. Say a little prayer from me on Saturday when you lay the wreath.
Jimmy Salt
35 Posted 11/08/2016 at 20:01:50
There is a simple answer to the question of why players back in the day played so many games without the teamsheet changing, vs the modern player being used in a more rotation based squad.
Back in the day ALL the teams played with 11 main players and some utility players as subs .
Ergo all the squads in the league tired at roughly the same rate throughout the season.
In the modern game the larger squad system allows players longer rest/recovery periods and enables the squad as a whole to function at a higher level for the duration of the season.
A team from the past would be burnt out by Xmas if it tried to compete in the modern game.
Jimmy Salt
36 Posted 11/08/2016 at 20:05:10
And nice gesture for Harold RIP.
Paul Kossoff
37 Posted 16/08/2016 at 14:53:58
Not quite Premier League standard yet, poor clearance and letting his marker get in front of him for Spurs goal.

That said, he's good enough if the defence was stronger, but with Funes Mori, Baines and Coleman still suffering the after-effects of the Martinez era he needs help.

Hopefully Williams will show them how to defend and, with Gana excelling in DM, Holgate should become a class defender sooner rather than later.

Anton Walsh
38 Posted 22/08/2016 at 21:44:25
I think this kid will be a goodun. Very calm and not afraid to do the easy pass back when needed. Good positional sense and quick. More promise than Galloway.

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