Everton were dealt a big setback in their bid to qualify for Europe next season when they suffered defeat on Saturday evening.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side was rocked by defensive mistakes, particularly from one of their younger centre-backs.
Michael Keane was back from injury on Saturday evening but was only fit enough to make the bench.
Unfortunately, Ancelotti will regret not throwing him straight back into the starting XI.
That’s because Mason Holgate was a complete disaster. The 24-year-old has been a regular in the side this term and has shown strong versatility at centre-back, full-back and in defensive midfield.
Though, he demonstrated last weekend why Everton may need to find an upgrade.
He cost his team the opening strike of the game as he took on the ball just inside his own half and then inexplicably turned back towards his own goal. Holgate had several options but turned into danger and then surrendered possession to Ollie Watkins.
The defender was weak in trying to win it back as the Aston Villa striker raced into the area and then found the back of the net.
Ancelotti can forget all about the young defender with one simple solution this summer; signing Merih Demiral.
The Juventus centre-back has been linked with a move to the Toffees over the last week or so with reports in Italy suggesting Everton are in advanced talks to bring him to Goodison Park.
It’s thought that Ancelotti and Marcel Brands may have to part ways with around €30m (£26m) to lure him to Merseyside.
Demiral has long been thought of as one of the most promising defenders in Europe so to sign him would be a huge upgrade.
He is a monster in the air and his physicality easily usurps someone like Holgate. After a battling performance against Udinese in 2019, scout Jacek Kulig called him an “absolute beast.”
Compared to Nemanja Vidic, the 23-year-old has all the qualities necessary to become an elite defender.
So far this term, Demiral has won 2.1 aerial duels and has made 1.7 interceptions per game for Juventus. His aerial stats are even better when playing for Turkey, winning a mighty 3.6 battles a match.
This is streets ahead of Holgate, a player who has won 1.6 aerial duels and 1.4 interceptions per appearance for the Toffees this term.
The Everton centre-back is promising but Demiral is a brick wall and could add a new sense of solidity to Ancelotti’s backline.