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Mason Holgate proved against Arsenal on Saturday that he may be Carlo Ancelotti’s secret weapon after Everton were urged to sign new defenders in January after a series of injuries.
Ancelotti was forced to appoint a makeshift backline for the visit from Mikel Arteta’s side, feeling that Seamus Coleman was not worth risking while making his go back to the bank following a tendon twist.
Ben Godfrey joined Holgate to start as a full-back in the absence of regular left-back Lucas Digne, who faces up to three months regardless of having required surgery after holding ankle ligament damage in formation at the end of last month.
Do Everton still need to sign a new RB in January?
If it is very obvious
No, Holgate is the answer
Ancelotti’s sudden loss of the two first-choice full-backs raised concerns about how Everton would cope in the long run, with the coach initially favoring Tom Davies and Alex Iwobi to play out of position.
Former England international Paul Robinson He suggested The need for reinforcements in January was “very evident” against Leeds United, as Everton lost 1-0 at home, with the Toffees “significantly weakened” without Coleman and Digne on the side.
Holgate, however, proved in the perfect moment that he can be Ancelotti’s secret weapon on the right-back with a top-notch display against Arsenal on Saturday, with Coleman watching from the bench for him. first time in six games.
Holgate’s strides forward caused Arsenal to question, fearing that leaving the 24-year-old unmarked would allow him to deliver another prank on Bernd Leno’s box.
Instead, the Gunners cleared Alex Iwobi the space to deliver the ball from which Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header would bounce off Rob Holding and into the net to open the scoring.
the £ 16.2 million The middle half rarely looked like a player who was out of position when he blocked the right channel with two punts, two interceptions, a successful tackle and success in his only aerial competition, while winning one of three ground duels, according to SofaScore.
One of Holgate’s three deliveries also found a teammate on a day when he recorded a key ball from 33 accurate passes and took 62 touches, only center-backs Yerry Mina (70) and Michael Keane (64) took more for the Toffees.
Ancelotti will find it difficult to leave Holgate when Everton visit Sheffield United on Boxing Day as he also scored in the midweek win over Leicester for his first of the season, with Coleman likely having to use Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-finals with Manchester United to regain his place in search of match fitness.
And in other news: “Big hit” – Exclusive: Pundit reacts to Everton’s big setback.