COMMENT By Matt Farr
Seamus Coleman was dealt a major blow to his career after being stretchered off with a broken-leg during the international break.
The Everton defender was on the receiving end of a horrific late challenge by Aston Villa’s Neil Taylor, during a World Cup qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Wales on Friday night.
With the 28-year-old set to be sidelined for a lengthy period, youngster Mason Holgate has now got a real chance to make the right-back slot his own – with Coleman set to be out for a lengthy period.
Holgate, 20, has already had a glimpse of first-team action with Everton this season, after making his Premier League debut in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham on August 13.
He has gone on to make 12 first team appearances for the club in all competitions this term, but has found regular opportunities limited due to the presence of Coleman as Ronald Koeman’s first choice.
However, now that the Irishman has been sidelined, Holgate now has the perfect opportunity to make the role his own.
The England U21 international can have a key role to play over the remaining eight games of the Premier League season.
His job is to prove that there is no need for the club to spend big money on a replacement, and that he can do that job himself.
From what people have seen of Holgate, he looks the part as a future Premier League defender. But it has been very difficult for the youngster to earn a regular role in Koeman’s side.
But the pending vacancy at right-back represents an important time in Holgate’s development. If handed the responsibility of filling Coleman’s shoes, Holgate’s progression can go one of two ways.
He can either seize his chance and continue on his current path to success, or he could slip up and end up being dished out on loan next season in a bid to make him ready for life as an Everton first team regular.
For Holgate’s sake, let’s hope it is the former.
In other Everton news, Leon Osman has delivered his verdict on the Coleman horror tackle.