Mason Holgate has praised the courage and dynamism of Everton’s attacking players as he underlined his belief the Toffees will continue to improve under boss Marco Silva.
The speed and vibrancy of the Blues’ play in the final third has caught the eye in each of their three Premier League games this season.
Summer signing Richarlison and flying winger Theo Walcott have already contributed five goals between them and helped to stretch opposition defences with their pace and directness.
Striker Cenk Tosun’s intelligent movement and link-up play have consistently impressed, too, and he displayed these attributes to devastating effect for Everton’s opener in their 2-2 draw at Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Turkey international had peeled off to the right-hand side when he was found by the excellent Gylfi Sigurdsson. Tosun instantly controlled the Icelander’s pass, before playing a perfectly-weighted through ball into the path of Walcott, who fired the Blues in front.
Sigurdsson was then the architect for the Toffees’ second, as his pinpoint cross was headed home by Michael Keane.
Centre-back Holgate is excited by potential of the Toffees’ attacking talents and is convinced there is even more to come.
“All our forward players cause problems,” the 21-year-old told evertonfc.com
. “They are strong, quick, you can always give them ball.
“They are always available and can always make something happen. It is good to have.
“Training has impoved, the games have improved. I think the team is just stronger.
“We are always learning and we are a young squad. We are only going to get better.”
Holgate, too, has made an impressive start to the 2018-19 campaign.
The defender came on as a 40th-minute substitute following skipper Phil Jagielka’s sending off on the opening day at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and after an accomplished display retained his place for the 2-1 victory over Southampton on August 18 and Saturday’s draw at Bournemouth.
Holgate, who has been capped six times for England at Under-21 level, says he is now intent on building on his early-season form.
“I’m just trying to put in consistent performances,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of competition in every position now and we hope Michael [Keane] will be back very quickly after his injury.
“If I keep doing well, then hopefully I’ll stay in the team.”
Holgate has been a key figure in a Blues team that has shown considerable resilience, alongside attacking flair, in their opening top-flight games.
The draws at Molineux and the Vitality Stadium have seen the Toffees play for more than 45 minutes with just 10 men. On each occasion Everton were resolute at the back, yet continued to carry a constant goal threat.
And in the win over Southampton, Holgate impressed at the heart of a Blues backline that successfully kept Mark Hughes’ side at arm’s length with the game on a knifeedge at 2-1.
Holgate believes Everton will keep improving as they continue to acclimitise to boss Silva’s progressive ideas and methods.
“We have dug in at certain points and that is what we need to do as a team,” the Doncaster-born centre-back said.
“We will work on keeping clean sheets and if we play attacking football like that there are not many teams that will be able to stop us playing through them.
“There’s been a lot of changes and a lot of new information but it’s starting to show on the pitch. It’s clear that we’re making steps towards it.”