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Ronald Koeman should believe in Everton's Mason Holgate, not Sunderland's Lamine Kone

Everton manager Ronald Koeman before the game

The young centre-back impressed against Manchester City while Kone has been erratic at best this season.

It seems rather unfair to question Ronald Koeman’s commitment to giving youth a chance after Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman both recorded their first Everton goals in Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing of Manchester City.

However, reports in The Sun that the Toffees remain determined to bring in Lamine Kone from Sunderland will rightfully cause a degree of concern among supporters, especially after 20-year-old Mason Holgate performed with such distinction at Goodison Park, keeping Sergio Aguero quiet and making a number of timely interventions on the right of Koeman’s back three.

Yet Kone’s arrival would surely shunt the former Barnsley youngster straight back out of the first-team, as far down perhaps as fifth choice unless Phil Jagielka brings an end to his decade-long association with the Toffees this month.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman with Mason Holgate

Such a fate appears harsh in the extreme, especially as Kone has done little this season to suggest that he deserves a chance at a higher level.

After all, this is the same Kone who reportedly drove down to Merseyside to attempt to force through a deal in the summer. His desire to pull on an Everton shirt could be construed as a positive but, on the flip side, what is to stop him doing the same if an even bigger club made their move somewhere down the line.

Furthermore, the Kone under David Moyes is a different beast entirely to the one who spearheaded Sunderland’s great escape under Sam Allardyce.

Sunderland manager David Moyes talks with Lamine Kone

To continue the metaphor, he has spent the majority of the campaign deep in hibernation with Jamie Carragher questioning his hunger and professionalism on Sky Sports after a half-hearted performance in Sunderland’s 4-1 home loss to Arsenal.

Holgate may be younger, less experienced and still somewhat raw but at least Koeman can count on 100 per cent commitment whenever he is picked to play.

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