Everton defender Mason Holgate has said a conversation with Marco Silva transformed his focus after his loan spell with West Brom last season.
The £25,000-a-week (Spotrac) defender says his concentration improved after a frank chat with Silva about his lack of gametime this term, having grown used to regular football at the Hawthorns.
He told Everton’s official website: “I went to talk to the gaffer because I’d gone from playing every game to coming back and not playing. We had a really good conversation and he told me what I had to work on.
“Since that day my focus has been much more ‘on’. I’ve been working on different parts of my game and I think that is starting to show. It is down to me to prove I’ve made progress, then the manager has to make his decision over whether I play. When I do get my chances, I have to prove to him I can stay in the team.”
TBR’s View – Everton’s lack of central defensive depth offers Holgate a real opportunity
In truth, Everton needed a fourth centre half to come through the door during the summer and they made no secret of their desire to sign Kurt Zouma.
But none were forthcoming and that means that Holgate, who was playing right wing back in the Championship last season, has a real chance to stake his claim at the heart of a Premier League defence.
He has done that in recent weeks and given Yerry Mina’s injury history, he may get the opportunity to establish himself at Goodison Park, taking all that he has learned from his loan spell last season into this term.