Mason Holgate joined Championship club Southampton on loan this summer.

Everton loanee Mason Holgate made his Championship debut for Southampton on Saturday.

Holgate left Everton to join Southampton on loan on August 25th, and made his bow for the Saints against Sunderland a few days ago. Unfortunately for the defender, it was not a day he will want to remember.

Goals from Jack Clarke, Bradley Dack, Chris Rigg, and a Pierre Ekwah brace saw Sunderland romp to a 5-0 win at the Stadium of Light. Southampton were outclassed in every department and were torn apart at the back.

Holgate started in the heart of the Southampton defence, alongside Jan Bednarek, but could do nothing to keep Sunderland at bay.

The 26-year-old will be desperate to bounce back quickly and start delivering much more impressive displays for his new club very soon. In the meantime, Southampton manager Russell Martin has leapt to the Everton man’s defence.

As quoted by the Southern Daily Echo, Martin said, “it’s my fault for playing Mason so early, he’s only been here for a week. I actually thought he would handle the atmosphere a lot better than some of the other options we had there.”

Tranmere Rovers v Everton XI - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

Expectations are high for Holgate

Given his experience, Holgate ought to have done better on Saturday. Across his eight seasons at Goodison Park, he made almost 150 appearances for the Toffees. At times in his career he has been an established starter for Everton, however, he fell down the pecking order following Sean Dyche’s appointment as manager.

Holgate certainly has the capacity to shine in the second tier. Southampton will still be confident that he can come good for them, and that this early misstep will be quickly forgotten. Martin was quick to reaffirm his faith in the former England under-21 international, saying, “Mason has got a great mentality and it’s our job as a coaching staff to make sure he improves, me included, but he will be totally fine.”

Holgate needs to have a good season with the south coast club. He almost certainly has no future with Everton, so his performances whilst on loan will have a huge bearing on where his career goes next come the end of this campaign.

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