Loads of Everton fans have been reacting on social media, after Mason Holgate revealed when he discovered that Duncan Ferguson was playing him in midfield against Manchester United.
Holgate has become a mainstay of the starting line-up in recent weeks, with the 6 ft 1 centre-half opening our previous seven Premier League games in the heart of the backline before boarding the bus to Old Trafford.
Former head coach Marco Silva had only turned to Holgate for 18 minutes across our first nine fixtures of the top-flight campaign, having returned in the summer from a half-season loan spell with West Bromwich Albion where he played 21 of his 23 games in all competitions at right-back.
Holgate’s versatility clearly stemmed into the midfield by his performance on Sunday, where the 23-year-old won his only attempted tackle, was never dribbled past, penned three clearances, won his two aerial duels, took two shots and found a teammate with 17 of his 23 passes, per WhoScored data.
Ferguson had to draft Holgate into midfield to address an injury crisis, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Fabian Delph joining long-term absentees Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin on the sidelines.
But our interim boss did not give Holgate much of a heads up, it would seem, as the Doncaster-born Barnsley product has shared that he only found out his duties hours before kick-off at Old Trafford.
Should Holgate play in midfield vs Leicester in the Carabao Cup?
“I found out just after our pre-match meeting, so probably about 11:30 [two-and-a-half hours before kick-off],” Holgate told EvertonTV. “We found out Gylfi [Sigurdsson] wasn’t very well and I had a word with Duncan, I went to see him and told him I was happy to do a job in there if he needed me.
“He said: ‘Yeah’, so I got my head around it quite quickly and I was ready. He told me after that it was happening anyway, but I went and said I’m more than happy to play anywhere to try to help the team.
“I’m not going to end up playing there for the rest of my career, but it helps me understand another position. I want to be a centre-back but I’m more than happy to play anywhere where I’m needed.”
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to Holgate’s comments…
Just the attitude we need.
— Jagsmol (@lynnepark_lynne) December 16, 2019
Anyone remember Marco saying he doesn’t show he wants or put enough effort in 🤣
— Ad George (@AdGeo1878) December 16, 2019
Nice to see a good attitude on some of our players,he gave 💯 yesterday if he keeps working hard he will do
Well for us.
— He’s Brazilian (@HeBrazilian) December 16, 2019
He was outstanding too, massive props to the kid
— Shoey Mc (@ShoeyEFC1234) December 16, 2019
If only all our players had that same attitude to put the team first and apply himself to the role 🤔
— Kingy (@EFCKingy) December 16, 2019
Played really well. Got a goal in him as a midfielder I reckon
— Ste (@toffee_ste) December 16, 2019
Who said we couldn’t cope without Gana.
Mason Holgate take a bow lad 👌🏼💙
— Julie1878 (@JulieHob1878) December 16, 2019
Barnsley Pirlo 😍
— Cal (@CallumCalwillo) December 16, 2019
Never play Gyfli ahead of him in CM ever again
— Joe Cook (@Joe97C) December 16, 2019
Didn’t let anyone down either, great display.
— Johnny H (@1878Johnny) December 16, 2019
In other Everton news, a 24-cap Toffees star has received heaps of praise from a leading pundit for his performance at Old Trafford.