Speaking on the Royal Blue podcast, Dave Prentice has highlighted how poor Mason Holgate was at the beginning of the season for Everton.
This season has seen new manager Rafael Benitez opt for a centre-back pairing of Yerry Mina and Michael Keane in the majority of matches so far, with Ben Godfrey often featuring as a full back, whereas Holgate has only been afforded two starts in the Premier League. So despite starting more times in the league than Mina last campaign under Carlo Ancelotti, he must now be seen as fourth-choice.
Who do you think is Everton's best centre-back?
Holgate is still only 24 years old and has a contract that runs until 2025, so he is under no pressure to perform right now for the Toffees, as he could potentially take this season to learn from more experienced defenders such as Mina and Keane, having already had a lot of time in the first team at a tender age, with 115 appearances for Everton in all competitions.
However, Prentice believes he must cut out his errors.
The future of Holgate and where he currently ranks within the Everton squad was discussed by the journalist.
“He made mistakes [at] the start of the season and, you know, he was winding me up a fair bit, to be honest, as some of them were quite basic errors he was making.
“The manager’s obviously decided that he’s way down the pecking order at the moment, and he’s got no one else really to blame at the moment other than himself.”
TIF Thoughts on Holgate…
Prentice highlighted mistakes made by Holgate at the beginning of this season, and he was jointly at fault for the first goal they conceded in the league under Benitez against Southampton, as Keane got picked off by Adam Armstrong, but Holgate appeared to not go fully committed into a tackle with the striker, allowing him to go through on goal and score.
Everton have four senior centre-backs, and with Benitez opting for a four-at-the-back formation, that allows just two to start each game, and unless Holgate can impress in training, he appears to have an uphill battle for starts in the league. Also, with the Toffees out of the Carabao Cup, he may be stuck on the bench until January when the FA Cup rolls around – or he perhaps looks for pastures new.