Everton defender Ashley Williams has told the club’s official website that young team-mate Mason Holgate can be a future star at Goodison Park.
The 32-year-old Welsh international is entering the twilight of his club career having played more than 600 senior appearances from the lower leagues to the top flight while Holgate, 12 years his junior, is only now starting to make an impression in the professional game.
The youngster has made nine Premier League appearences under Ronald Koeman this season, some alongside Williams in a new-look back three, and the elder statesman of Everton’s backline has nothing but praise for his up-and-coming protégé.
“Firstly, I think that he’s a really good talent and hopefully he has a massive career,” Williams told the club’s official website. “I’ve got close to Mason, to be honest. He comes to my house and I’m always chatting to him. We are good friends and I’m trying to help him as much as I can to see how good he is.
“He’s a really nice lad who wants to do well, wants to learn and even out here, I’ve spent most of my time with him. The sky’s the limit for him as a defender, hopefully for Everton and England.”
Like former Everton centre-back John Stones, Holgate rose through the ranks at Barnsley before making the step up to the top flight with The Toffees and the youngster has caught the eye on the few occasions Koeman has trusted him with a starting berth this season.
Completing 76 per cent of his tackles, his composure belies his tender years and bodes well for a long-term stay in the Everton backline.