Holgate Reveals Personal Improvement Aims

Mason Holgate is vowing to continue working on “every aspect of my game” in a bid to maintain his impressive rate of progress.

Holgate has claimed a regular starting berth in Everton’s back four after muscling into the team four-and-a-half months ago.

The 23-year-old was last week rewarded for his fine season to date when he signed a contract keeping him at the Club for at least five more years.

But Holgate is keen to stress an awful lot of work stands in the way of him being converted into the finished article.

“I am still learning and there are not many 23-year-olds playing centre-back every week,” Holgate told evertontv.

“I want to improve pretty much every area of my game.

“If I was happy with any part of my game at 23, I would be disappointed in myself.

“Nobody peaks at 23 and I don’t want to.

“I want to keep getting better and to do that need to keep working on every aspect of my game.

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Defender set for Blues stay until at least summer 2025.

“Centre-half is a tough position to play.

“It is not something I am going to know everything about straight away.

“This is the best run I’ve had in the Premier League and I am trying to take everything I can from it."

A loan spell with West Bromwich Albion last season had a restorative effect on Holgate.

The former Barnsley player returned from the Hawthorns to tell Director of Football Marcel Brands he wanted more than to be Everton’s fourth pick in his preferred centre-back position.

He was forced to wait his turn in the opening months of the campaign but has started 22 of his side’s past 23 games.

The peaks have outweighed the troughs for Holgate in that period. He reluctantly accepts the intermittent low points as learning curves for an Everton team brimming with young players and finding its way under Carlo Ancelotti.

Serially successful Italian manager Ancelotti has won five and drawn three of his 11 Premier League matches in charge to move Everton within touching distance of the division's European qualification positions.

The Blues' advance was checked by Chelsea on Sunday, however, and Ancelotti confessed Everton's 4-0 loss at Stamford Bridge represented the lowest point of his embryonic tenure.

“We are going to make mistakes, every team does, no matter how good they are,” said Holgate.

“But you have to learn and cannot make those mistakes again.

“We’ve had a few things happen – we lost at Arsenal [3-2 last month] because we conceded three sloppy goals.

“These are things which will happen but you have to learn and make sure they are not happening consistently.

“We want to reach a stage where we’re consistently playing well and that is what we are trying to do.”

Holgate joined Everton from Barnsley in August 2015 and made his first-team debut 12 months later.

His senior action for the Club was initially split between shifts at right-back and in the middle of defence.

He almost exclusively played as a full-back in his 23-match spell with West Brom.

But Holgate’s gaze never veered from the position he is now filling at the heart of Everton’s defence.

“I always saw myself long-term as a centre-half,” added Holgate.

“Maybe at the time [when he came to Everton] I did not appreciate I was not strong enough or built well enough to be able to deal with playing centre-half.

“But now I have grown into my body, which is something I always thought would happen, and one of the benefits from that is being able to play centre-half.

“I have never doubted myself since I have been here.

“It is just about opportunities and consistently playing. I am doing that and it will help me get better.”