By Russell Edge

17th Jul, 2020 | 12:54pm

Exclusive: Everton key man to miss rest of season after shattering blow

Everton defender Mason Holgate will miss the final two games of the season after suffering a shattering injury blow against Aston Villa, Football Insider understands.

The 23-year-old, who returned to the starting XI after two games out, was substituted off in the 1-1 draw after just 16 minutes.

A source at Goodison Park has told Football Insider that the centre-back has burst a vein on the calf side of his shin area and that he will not feature against either Sheffield United or Bournemouth.

Holgate, who started the campaign as backup to Yerry Mina and Michael Keane under former boss Marco Silva, has gone on to establish himself as a mainstay in Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season.

The versatile defender has featured 32 times across all competitions this season and started all but one Premier League game between October and July.

He was replaced by 18-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite at the heart of the defence against Villa in what was only the youngster’s second first-team appearance for the Toffees.

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Holgate spent the second half of last season on loan to West Bromwich Albion where he played primarily as a right-back and helped the Baggies reach the Championship play-offs.

The former Barnsley man joins Mina, who is sidelined with a muscular injury, in the treatment room to leave Ancelotti with limited options at the heart of the defence.

The Toffees face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Monday evening before finishing their season with a home clash against relegation-threatened Bournemouth.

In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED a Premier League rival could be forced to sell a top star to the Toffees for £30million.

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