Everton defender Holgate to undergo surgery

Everton have confirmed that defender Mason Holgate has been forced to withdraw from the England Under-21 squad to undergo ankle surgery.

Holgate had been selected in the Under-21 squad for the upcoming matches against Romania and Ukraine.

However, it was revealed on Wednesday that the versatile defender, who struggled for regular football earlier this season, would play no part during the international break as he prepares to undergo a minor operation.

Everton have not yet put a timeframe on the recovery of the 21-year-old, but it seems unlikely that he will be fit to face Premier League leaders Manchester City at Goodison Park on March 31.

Holgate, who is valued at £6.3m by transfermarkt.co.uk, has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Everton during the 2017-18 campaign – including 15 in the Premier League.

Everton have won their last two Premier League matches, and now face back-to-back home fixtures with Man City and Liverpool over the next couple of weeks.