By Darren Bent

10th Nov, 2019 | 6:04pm

'The penny has dropped' - Exclusive: Bent in awe of Everton ace who used to be 'bit up and down'

Darren Bent heaped praise on Everton defender Mason Holgate for the way he has seized his chance to feature for the first-team in recent weeks.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former Tottenham and Aston Villa striker shared that in his opinion Holgate used to be inconsistent but did acknowledge he had moved about the team a bit.

Holgate has played every minute of the Toffees’ last three league games after previously playing only 18 minutes of Premier League season across the club’s first nine games.

Bent stated that the penny had dropped for Holgate and suggested that perhaps the 23-year-old saw other young players in the Premier League getting plaudits and thought he needed to up his game.

When asked if he was impressed by how Holgate had seized his chances to feature lately, Bent told Football Insider: “I like it, he was one of them where he was a bit up and down, even this year he has played in several different positions.

“He is a good centre-half, it’s like the penny has dropped for him and sometimes it just does for young players, they get to a point where they’re like listen.

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“There are young players reguarly playing, for example, take Tomori at Chelsea, he is in their first-team, getting all these plaudits and you’re thinking hang on I was in the first-team before them.

“So sometimes it just clicks and all of a sudden, you start to put the performances in and he’s doing that.”

Holgate joined the Toffees in 2015 from Championship side Barnsley and has made a grand total of 56 appearances for the club.

The 23-year-old centre-back spent his 2018/19 campaign on loan with West Bromwich Albion and assisted four goals, while scoring one, in 23 outings for them.

In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that a 25-year-old wants to quit his loan mid-season and return to Goodison Park.