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Plenty of interest in young Everton defender

Mason Holgate has been pushed to the fringes at the Toffees

AFC Bournemouth v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

This season has not gone too well for Everton defender Mason Holgate. With the acquisition of Yerry Mina and his subsequent return to fitness, and how well Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma have fit in together have meant that the 22-year-old has not even been a part of the matchday squad since mid-October for the Blues.

Holgate began the season coming on as a sub away at Wolverhampton Wanderers after Phil Jagielka got sent off, and was in the starting lineup for the next four games, including the home drubbing by West Ham United.

Speaking last week though, manager Marco Silva appeared to indicate that he would be willing to let the youngster go out on loan in January to get some playing time with Phil Jagielka ahead of him in the pecking order.

Now the Derby Telegraph have come up with a shortlist of teams that could be interested in snapping up Holgate when the window opens in under two weeks.

Claudio Ranieri had to take over at troubled Fulham as they slumped to the bottom of the Premier League table, and one of the biggest reasons is their porous defence. The newly-promoted side boasts attacking riches that usual Championship sides can only dream of, but Cottagers have conceded 42 times in 17 games, nine goals more than the second-worst side.

The other two sides interested are both vying for promotion in the Championship, with 4th placed Derby County and 5th placed Sheffield United also interested in Holgate.

Derby have lost centrehalf Curtis Davies and leftback Craig Forsyth to long-term injuries and will be interested in Holgate’s versatility since he can play fullback as well. Their 4-2-3-1 matches with the Blues formation and Silva will be keen to see his youngster get plenty of minutes.

At the Blades, things are a bit different as Chris Wilder plays a 3-5-2 with John Egan, Chrios Basham and Jack O’Connell all in good form and Holgate unlikely to slot right into a starting role.

Holgate joined Everton at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, and has featured in 48 senior squad games for the Blues, with 27 of those appearances in the middle of the defence.