Everton went to Old Trafford to face Manchester United yesterday struggling with injury and illness, especially in central midfield.
That meant Mason Holgate was pressed into action as a makeshift central midfielder, with Duncan Ferguson kidding on to the press that it was part of a five-man backline.
But Holgate partnered Tom Davies in the middle of the park and was fantastic on an afternoon where the Toffees picked up another eye-catching result.
The £25,000-a-week man (Spotrac) looked completely at ease in his new role and perhaps it could be a longer term option given the host of absentees Everton have in the engine room.
Many Everton fans on Twitter were full of praise for Holgate who embodied the way that their side dug in once more under Ferguson.
However long he remains in the job, Ferguson has restored passion and pride to the shirt and ensured that Everton don’t use injuries as an excuse not to compete with richer opponents.
Some fans were intrigued to see if Holgate’s future may lie in the centre of the park, with him having failed to establish himself full in the team at right back or centre half.
He is now. Hiding in plain sight.
— Calvin de Bruijn (@CalvindeBruijn) December 15, 2019
— Richy the 🐦 (@RichyFTBL_) December 15, 2019
Class today mason 💙💙💙 pic.twitter.com/ZfCdBVsCxe
— ⎊ jen (@_jennifer1878) December 15, 2019
Idrissa Gana Holgate.
— Kris Hutchinson (@HutchTweeting) December 15, 2019
The barnsley pirlo ..
— scott bartoncaldwell (@scozzabc) December 15, 2019
Ad a blinder , keep him there
— mogsy (@mogs157) December 15, 2019
Played well today him, hope he keeps up 💙
— 🥀Amanda EFC🥀 (@missiefc) December 15, 2019
Looked better in midfield than defense.
— Paul Watson (@PaulWat02553478) December 15, 2019
Seeing Mason grow in stature & confidence in his role has been an absolute joy to watch imo. Just love the lad! 💙⚽️👏💙
— Cathy McAlle (@CathyMcAlle) December 15, 2019
Great shift lad
— Dave Voyle (@voylerroom) December 15, 2019
Right footed Gareth Barry! 🥰🥰
— Gra (@graemeedwards79) December 15, 2019
I thought he played really well. Positionally he was fantastic to say it was a late change to put him in the middle of the park.
Always admired his confidence too.
— thatdavid_ (@thatdavid_) December 15, 2019
Outstanding today 👏🏻
— JLapham (@joelappo) December 15, 2019
The lad blind a blinder today! Incredible for the lad to just fill in like he did. Be great to see him progress and see if that’s where his future lies
— 🤙🏼 (@L91EFC) December 15, 2019
Loves a tackle as well just what we need at the minute
— Graham Stapleton (@stapo85) December 15, 2019