Garth Crooks has told BBC Sport that Everton defender Mason Holgate is the ‘real deal’ after naming him in his Team of the Week.
The youngster was a standout performer for the Toffees as they saw off Newcastle United 2-1 at the weekend.
A brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin saw the Toffees home at St James’ Park and Crooks was once again impressed by Holgate.
He told BBC Sport: “The Everton youngster is looking like the real deal these days.
“The defender was part of a superb defensive display against Burnley and was inspirational away at Newcastle.
“This young man can play anywhere across the back four and did so brilliantly twice in a matter of 48 hours. He kept Andy Carroll quiet for 90 minutes!”
Holgate has now played 17 times this season for the Toffees. He has played right-back, centre-back and in a midfield role under interim boss Duncan Ferguson.
It had seemed under Marco Silva that Holgate might be on borrowed time. He was loaned out to West Brom last January and having made an impact it was anticipated that he might leave.
With Everton failing to land a central defender in the summer, however, it opened a door for Holgate.
The youngster hasn’t just knocked on the said door, he’s barged it open and walked into first-team stardom with aplomb.
Under Carlo Ancelotti, he could really thrive. It certainly won’t help his cause for more football having impressed in the manager’s first two games in charge.
Having been capped six times for England at under-21 level, Gareth Southgate could be monitoring his performances.
An England call-up would be deserved for Holgate and a chance to shine may be forthcoming.