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Ferdinand convinced about potential of Everton youngster Holgate

Everton youngster Mason Holgate has the potential to develop into an elite defender.

That is according to former England captain Rio Ferdinand.

The 23-year-old was a mainstay under Carlo Ancelotti this season and Ferdinand was impressed by his potential.

"I've seen Mason plays passes that eliminate four or five people out of the game – that means the player he finds is facing the back three or four of the opposing team," Ferdinand told Everton's club website.

"Whether that pass is over 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, it doesn't matter.

"If you can create more opportunities like that for your attacking players, you're going to get more chances to score goals.

"Most centre-backs might play a lot of passes simple to the full-back – you get it, and play it to the nearest player – but the top, elite ones, where I think Mason can go, are the ones who play passes that eliminate people out of the game.

"When someone says, 'He's a good centre-half, he's comfortable on the ball', that doesn't quite cut it for me.

"But Mason is a defender who is good on the ball and who can play.

"He doesn't just look to play the simple pass – he plays balls that can affect the game."

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