Carlo Ancelotti has some difficult decisions to make in his first game as Everton manager, one of which is who to name at centre-back. Mason Holgate lined up alongside Yerry Mina in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, but Michael Keane is also available and may be competition for the 23-year-old.
What will the result be vs Burnley on Boxing Day?
Holgate has made 15 appearances for Everton this season, scoring and creating three goals. The former England u21 international has played a full 90 minutes in each of Everton’s last nine Premier League games, impressing in both defence and midfield, so there’s little reason why Ancelotti would drop him.
Keane has struggled for consistency in 2019/20 too and didn’t impress when coming off the bench in Saturday’s draw.
Can we refund players? Michael Keane for starters? #Efc
— Jon (@CarloAncelotti_) December 21, 2019
#efc seemed much more controlled in defence – until Keane came on. Saddened that Leighton Baines was hooked after midweek – maybe he was tired? Certainly Digne's delivery from set pieces was dreadful. Finally, Tosun ahead of Bernard? Seriously, Duncan? Anyway, take the point.
— Phil Pellow (@Phil_Pellow) December 21, 2019
Terrible game of football that, Michael Keane gives me chronic anxiety #EFC
— Nick H⚽️💙 (@Nick_H_93) December 21, 2019
Michael Keane is literally unplayable. How has he regressed this drastically? At this point, what could we get for him in January? He’s a liability on the field. #EFC
— Patrick Kampfmueller (@patkampf) December 21, 2019
However, the England international has started in four of Everton’s last five league outings, so there might be a slim chance of him starting on Boxing Day. Keane has made 19 appearances across the board this season, racking up 1508 minutes of playing time, so he’s still been a regular despite his flaws.
Ancelotti could wash the slate clean too, so Keane may not be judged on his past. That being said, Holgate has given little reason to lose his spot.