Darren Bent has tipped Everton defender Mason Holgate to be handed a chance in the starting XI by Marco Silva after seeing the Toffees struggle defensively recently.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aston Villa and England striker says that Everton have not been good enough at the back of late, with their latest outing seeing them beaten 3-1 by Bournemouth.
The Toffees have conceded at least two goals in each of their last four appearances, including against Lincoln City in the League Cup.
With first-choice centre back pairing Michael Keane and Yerry Mina struggling to stop the flow of goals against their side, Bent says there is no reason why Holgate, who has featured just once in the Premier League all season, should not be given a chance.
Asked if the Portuguese boss should consider bringing Holgate into the starting XI, Bent told Football Insider: “Why not, what have they got to lose? They’ve got him there, they might as well give him a try because something’s got to change.
“It’s all well saying they haven’t got the strength of depth, which they haven’t, but if you keep playing the same guys and you’re not getting results, something’s got to change. You’re looking at the same results, you’re still making mistakes, you’re not defensively solid enough.
“You can’t keep thinking: ‘I’ll keep playing the same guys and something might change,’ because it might not change and then by that point it might be too late.”
The 22-year-old spent the latter half of last season on loan at West Brom, featuring 23 times for the Baggies during his temporary spell at the Hawthorns.
Having signed for the Toffees from Barnsley back in 2015, Holgate has made 50 first-team appearances and he has a contract which expires in the summer of 2022.