Marco Silva’s plans are set to be put to the test, as Football Insider understand West Bromwich Albion have approached Everton looking to re-sign Mason Holgate on loan.
The 6 ft 1 centre-back featured in the boss’ opening five Premier League games at the Goodison Park helm, but saw his minutes dwindle as the season progressed and Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane formed a solid centre-back pairing.
With the Frenchman unlikely to return to Merseyside this summer, though, it was understood Silva would bring Holgate back into his central plans following his loan spell at the Hawthorns for the latter stages of last season.
Allegedly, the Portuguese head coach sees the 22-year-old as someone who can challenge Keane and Yerry Mina for minutes next season, with the former England U21 international very much an option he is considering.
However, new West Brom boss Slaven Bilic is keen to lure Holgate back to the Midlands outfit on loan once more, and will focus on deploying the Doncaster-born talent centrally whereas his predecessor preferred the Barnsley product on the right-hand side of his backline.
The Baggies have little need for Holgate to occupy the right-back slot next season as they are reportedly set to pay Rangers a fee close to £1.5million for Darnell Furlong, but will follow his arrival by sanctioning the departure of Allan Nyom to Getafe.
West Brom are understood to have approached Everton to see if Holgate will be on offer for another loan spell, with Blues chiefs yet to inform the Championship outfit of their decision either way.
However, giving Holgate the green light to secure another loan move away would be a naïve call by Marcel Brands and Silva, given it would leave the boss with Mina and Keane as his only senior defensive options following Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams’ departures at the end of their contracts in June.
Holgate made 19 appearances in the second-tier during his loan spell with WBA, with 17 of his outings coming at right-back, where he would assist three goals and score once.