Everton under-21 coach David Unsworth was impressed with Mason Holgate's performance on Monday night against Norwich City.
Fellow youngster Kieran Dowell stole the show with an impressive long range strike before setting up the winner, but Unsworth reserved praise for the team's defensive showing.
He went as far as to say Holgate's performance in the 2-1 win was his best since joining the club last summer.
Unsworth, a former centre-back himself, was also impressed with Callum Connolly, and told the club's official website: "It was great to welcome Callum [Connolly] back in the centre of our defence.
"He’s been out on loan, been with England and he was back tonight to give us some real steel alongside Mason Holgate, who I thought had his best performance since he arrived."
Holgate signed from Barnsley in the summer where he had been a regular for the League One side at just 18, but has had to bide his time at Everton.
Everton have struggled defensively this season, and the prospect of Holgate being ready to step up and challenge for a place next season is at least a bit of encouraging news for frustrated Toffees fans.