Mason Holgate has been one of the somewhat surprise players of the season, and indeed, one of the few shining lights in an Everton squad that has mostly underperformed across the board. And now when they need him most with a Europa League berth still within the realm of possibility, he is out injured.
The young defender appeared to take a knock in the first half of Monday’s loss at Tottenham Hotspur when he went sliding into Giovani Lo Celso, and even though was able to continue for a few minutes after that, was withdrawn just past the half hour mark.
Speaking to the media today in his pre-match press conference, manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Holgate was indeed going to miss the game tomorrow. While Yerry Mina did well coming in for him against Spurs and should be a lock for the centrehalf starting spot against Southampton tomorrow, that will put paid to any chances that Holgate might be used in midfield where his energetic legs could have proved much more useful than any combination of Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies have been so far.
He went on to add that Fabian Delph was still out as well while Theo Walcott was fit to return to the squad. When pressed about said midfield woes, the veteran manager took a diplomatic tone, saying that overall the whole team needed to be better than they were at Spurs.
“Against Tottenham all of the team could do better. I already analysed the game with the players and already told the players to move onto the next game.”
Regarding any signings to bolster a feeble midfield, Ancelotti would not be drawn into saying anything.
“At the end of the season we are going to analyse the season together and going to try and improve the squad. Now is not the time to judge...at the end of the season we have time to prepare the new season.”