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Could Mason Holgate be poised for a fresh start at Everton despite penalty woe?

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Barely 30 seconds had elapsed when Everton's Mason Holgate – on loan at West Bromwich Albion – introduced Aston Villa's Anwar El Ghazi to this feisty West Midlands derby.

Holgate stepped up first ahead of several senior pros to take the first penalty of the shoot-out and despite appearing confident, his effort was saved by Jed Steer.

However, last summer meant a fresh start under Marco Silva who has since seen fit to farm out both players to a couple of old Staffordshire rivals in the second tier.



Doncaster-born Holgate was schooled in the game at neighbouring Barnsley and polished up from being a rough diamond on Merseyside having followed John Stones across the Pennines to join the Blues as a raw teenager back in 2015.

But while Wolverhampton-born Williams' powers have been on the wane ever since he joined Everton on the back of his heroics for his adopted country at Euro 2016 and out-of-contract this summer he is now surplus to requirements at his parent club, Holgate very much remains part of Silva's thoughts for the future.

Sporting the 68 jersey – not a number that Evertonians will be particularly enamoured with when it comes to West Brom given it was the year in which their side featured all of 'The Holy Trinity' of Howard Kendall, Colin Harvey and Alan Ball were red-hot favourites for the FA Cup final but conspired to lose in extra time to Jeff Astle's strike – Holgate looked bright and breezy when pushing up the flank and providing crosses.

The combination of Yorkshire Grit and Scouse heart have combined well to ensure that no quarter is given and such commitment was lapped up by Black Country fans as he steamed into El Ghazi with the kind of full-blooded challenge that Old Swan's Ron Atkinson, who managed both the Baggies and Villa used to call “a reducer.” Although he's now had a season on loan in the Championship himself, Dutch winger El Ghazi, brought up at Ajax and now owned by French club Lille is probably still getting used to such robust tackles.
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