COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Mason Holgate should retain his starting place ahead of Seamus Coleman against Sunderland.
Everton travel to the Stadium of Light in the Premier League on Monday night and Ronald Koeman has a selection to make about who will start the match at right-back.
Holgate, 19, has been the club’s first-choice option at the start of the season as Coleman returns to full fitness and has made quite an impression.
The Everton supporters praised Holgate on Twitter for his performance against Stoke as he helped the club keep their first clean sheet in the league this season.
A decision to axe Holgate from the team that faces Sunderland could be deemed as a harsh one as the youngster has looked an assured part of Koeman’s defence.
He has played in all four of the club’s fixtures this year, including the cup victory against Yeovil, and was included in Gareth Southgate’s England under-21 side during the international break.
Coleman, 27, is undoubtably a key member of the Everton side and has impressed as an attack-minded full-back at Goodison Park since his move in 2009.
With the Republic of Ireland international still recovering from his exploits with his nation at Euro 2016 and expected to be the preferred option for the upcoming season, now could be a good time to let Holgate continue his development.
Holgate has also been used as part of a three man defence at Everton and that could be a position he fills in at throughout the season.
With the club’s cup competitions set to be his best opportunity for first-team action, Koeman could be tempted to stick with the youngster for Monday’s match.
Everton will go level on points with second-placed Chelsea if they win against a Sunderland side who have only picked up one point in their first three games.
In other Everton team news, Mark Lawrenson has questioned the club’s goalkeeping options ahead of the Sunderland clash.