By Paul Robinson

22nd Sep, 2021 | 8:30pm

Everton told to complete 'top-class' defender signing in January after source's three-word update - pundit

Paul Robinson has claimed Everton need to sign a sign a centre-half on the evidence of Tuesday night’s performance against QPR.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs and England number one said he was “surprised” the Toffees didn’t enter the market for a central defender in the summer.

Rafael Benitez’s side crashed out of the League Cup on penalties at Loftus Road on Tuesday.

Mason Holgate started in the heart of the defence and gave the ball away 17 times – more than any other player on the pitch. (Whoscored)

Robinson claimed the centre-half has endured an “indifferent” spell at Goodison Park over the past two seasons.

“They need to sign a centre-half,” he told Football Insider. “It’s a position they need to strengthen in.

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“Mason Holgate has been indifferent since the season before last.

“For Everton to reach the level they aspire to be at they need a right-back and a centre-half. I was surprised they didn’t strengthen in those two positions in the window to be honest.

“They did not invest heavily in the window and I think they will regret not signing a centre-half. It might be something the address in January.”

As revealed by Football Insider (16th September), Rafa Benitez’s transfer priority in January is to sign a top centre-back.

A Everton source has told this site Benitez and the recruitment team are “firmly on the case” after the manager realised, like his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, that there is no natural pairing among his current crop of defenders.

In other news, an injury expert has claimed Richarlison could be out for a month for Everton.