Everton have handed young defender Mason Holgate a contract extension that will keep him with the Blues through till the summer of 2021. While the new deal only adds a year to the term, it’s likely there was a raise involved for the player who has been excellent in his limited appearances so far.
The Blues also announced extensions for veterans Leighton Baines and Gareth Barry.
Holgate was signed a year ago on a five-year deal from Barnsley in League One, following in the footsteps of England international John Stones who was also plucked from the Tykes by the Toffees.
He went on to make an immediate impression with the Under-21 and Under-23 sides, playing in 17 Premier League 2 games scoring three times, all from the center back position.
This season he has made four senior appearances, twice in the right back position and twice in the middle. Fans have been struck by his composure on the ball and his poise when taking on all comers in the Premier League.
Manager Ronald Koeman was pleased by the player’s decision and his versatility -
“Mason is one of the big talents at the Club. Of course, he started playing this season and did a great job. He can play out of different positions in the team defensively. He was really comfortable when he got his chance in the team. He showed strengths with the football and strengths in defending. He’s the future for the Club and other young players like him.
"For young players it's difficult to come into the first team but we are really happy that at Everton we have a lot of young players who can make that step."
The player himself also talked about the manager and the effect the older players have had on him -
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind this season, to be honest. I wasn’t expecting it but I’m really enjoying it and hopefully there are many more experiences to come. My confidence has grown as I’ve spent more time with the first team. I feel settled now and a proper part of the group.
“Obviously, the lads have helped me a lot and to have two great senior professionals like Jags and Ashley [Williams], who play in the same position as me, is always going to help. I watch things that they do and try to take everything in to improve myself. There’s others as well, players like Seamus who are also helping me. I’m getting a lot of advice from some very good senior players.
“The manager has been really good with me as well. Obviously, it was great to get a chance under him so early on. I’ve got all of these people around me, helping me along the way and I just want to continue to learn and grow as a player and do all I can for the Club.”