Carlo Ancelotti will be desperate to get Mason Holgate back in the Everton team against Aston Villa after his transformation this season, according to Alex Bruce.

The former Premier League centre-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, claims that the 23-year-old has been a standout performer for the Toffees and was sorely missed against Southampton and Wolves.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s clash against Villa, Ancelotti confirmed that he was hopeful that both Holgate and Andre Gomes would be fit to play after their injury problems.

The centre-back suffered a shin injury against Tottenham and as such sat out the 1-1 draw with Southampton and the 3-0 defeat to Wolves.

Bruce insists Holgate has been one of Carlo Ancelotti’s top performers at Goodison Park and claims the manager will be doing what he can to get the defender back in the side.

Bruce told Football Insider: “He’s been a consistent performer, he’s gone in and he’s got really good attributes the lad and unfortunately he picked up an injury, which a lot of players will do after the restart with the amount of games coming thick and fast.

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“He’s definitely a positive for Everton, that’s for sure, and they’ll be looking to get him back as quick as possible.” 

Holgate has made 31 appearances for Everton this season, playing as both a centre-back as well as a right-back on occasion.

Having begun the season as a squad player under Marco Silva, he started all but one league game between October and July before his injury setback.

In other Everton news, Darren Bent has been left drooling over a starlet at Goodison Park.

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