Everton captain Seamus Coleman has raved about Goodison Park teammate Mason Holgate, telling the Toffees website that the young defender is “growing as a leader every week”.
Holgate has fought his way into Everton’s starting XI and has been delivering impressive performances under both Duncan Ferguson as caretaker and since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti.
To date, the 23-year-old has made 76 appearances for Everton in all competitions, including 28 this season, and has been winning plaudits aplenty thanks to his confident, dominant displays at the back.
At the start of the season, Holgate often had to make do with a spot on the bench, and the Sheffield Star reported in December that Sheffield United were monitoring his situation at Goodison Park, but he is now one of the first names on Ancelotti’s team sheet.
“I see Mason Holgate growing as a leader every week and we need to build a culture in the dressing room to demand from each other,” Coleman told the Everton website. “We all need to make sure we are part of that and give everything for the cause.
“I am very impressed with Mason. I think he has been great, for a young lad he has shown great leadership qualities. It means a lot to him to play for the club. He is someone I have grown close to over the past season, trying to help him as much as I can.
“He might be the first to tell you, a couple of years ago I’d have been helping him but giving him a hard time as well. You do that because you see the potential in people and that was never in doubt with Mason. Now we are seeing the other side, the leadership. He is turning into a real man and we are lucky to have him.”
Holgate’s displays for Everton have spoken for themselves this season and, with Coleman now 31 years of age, the discussion of who could potentially take over as Toffees captain seems to point in the 23-year-old’s direction.
Although Everton’s defence has flattered to deceive at times this season, Holgate is a cut above and the possibility of him becoming a future Everton skipper, not to mention a Blues legend, is not out of the question.