Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that Everton will be without Mason Holgate for up to three months with a toe injury. As per Liverpool Echo, he said: “We are where we said when he had the injury, that it was for 8-12 weeks.” It’s a major blow as Holgate was our best defender last season and Ancelotti is a big fan, but we’ll now have to wait until December to get him back.
What has Holgate done?
The 23-year-old injured his toe in the first half of our friendly win over Preston North End (September 5), hurting himself by going in for a challenge. Holgate came off before the half-hour mark and had to be replaced. For something so innocuous, he’s really done some damage and will miss the majority of 2020 as a result.
We shouldn’t have many problems in the EFL Cup against Salford, but we will miss Holgate in the Premier League on Saturday (West Bromwich Albion at home). Of the 11 games (in all competitions) he missed last season, we only managed two wins (18%) and lost seven times (64%).
Who will play in his stead?
Carlo Ancelotti may not have Holgate to choose from in Wednesday’s EFL Cup clash, but he will have Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Jarrad Branthwaite and Lewis Gibson at his disposal.
Mina and Keane partnered one another in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham and could keep their place in midweek. Alternatively, Gibson and Branthwaite may be given a run out in the cup to get experience at a level they’ll be comfortable with. Time will tell.
Could we sign another defender?
Yes, but not just to replace Holgate temporarily. We’ve been on the hunt for another centre-back all summer to accompany the 23-year-old, Mina and Keane. We’ve been linked with Unai Nunez, Mohammed Salisu, Branislav Ivanovic, Jean-Clair Todibo, John Stones, Wesley Fofana, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mykola Matviyenko, Morata, Thiago Silva, Gian Marco Ferrari, Kristoffer Ajer, Marash Kumbulla, Christian Luyindama, Issa Diop, Dael Fry, Fiyako Tomori, Nikola Maksimović, Diego Godin and Tosin Adarabioyo, but Tomori may be the one we end up signing.