By Kevin Phillips

4th Mar, 2020 | 4:00pm

'Huge' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips reacts to Everton announcement

Kevin Phillips claimed it is a “huge bonus” to tie Mason Holgate down to a new long-term contract at Everton.

The former Sunderland and Southampton striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the 23-year-old has benefited from a season out on loan last year at West Brom.

Everton announced last night that Holgate had put pen to paper on a five-year deal that will keep him at Goodison Park until June 2025.

The centre-back impressed after joining the Baggies for the second half of the 2018/19 campaign, scoring once in 23 appearances.

Since returning to Merseyside the former England under-21 international has established himself at the heart of the Toffees defence alongside Yerry Mina.

Phillips praised the Goodison hierarchy for securing the defenders long-term future claiming many Premier League clubs leave deals too late.

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“It is always a big boost to tie a young player and get them on a long-term contract,” the former England international told Football Insider.

“A lot of clubs get criticised for leaving deals to the last minute, players running their contracts down. To tie someone down like that for that length of time…

“He is a good player, so it is a huge bonus.

“He really benefited from his loan. Players need to go out and learn their trade and be put in a different environment and good players will come through it. He has certainly shown that the loan period has done that for him. Credit to him and the club.” 

Holgate was reportedly the subject of interest from Manchester City, as revealed by Football Insider, but the new deal suggests a move is now unlikely.

The defender has made 26 appearances for Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season, scoring once.

In other Everton news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider why 25-year-old is struggling at Goodison Park.