With Everton captain Phil Jagielka suspended for the Toffees’ weekend clash against Southampton, Marco Silva opted to hand youngster Mason Holgate a start in the heart of defence.
Paired alongside Michael Keane, the 21-year-old gave a mature performance in victory over the Saints and there is now a very good chance that he will be given future first team opportunities.
This could leave Keane very vulnerable, with the likes of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma yet to be considered for the starting XI.
Keane hasn’t done anything near enough to live up to the reputation that followed him after his £30 million move from Turf Moor two summers’ ago.
After a difficult start to life in Merseyside under Ronald Koeman, he has since fallen out of contention for Gareth Southgate’s England side.
The former Burnley man has looked sluggish and error prone and there is a feeling around Goodison Park that he will become drastically exposed against some of the more menacing top flight sides.
With £27.19 million summer signing Mina on the verge of full fitness, following the World Cup, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him replace Keane in the first team in the coming weeks.
This change would pave way for a young, fresh and exciting centre-back partnership of Holgate and Mina – a solid platform for Silva to build his new team around.