But the 23-year-old came on leaps and bounds across the last campaign to establish himself as one of Everton's most important players.
Holgate told evertonfc.com: “It has been very difficult at times and I thought I was going to have to leave and start afresh to get playing.
“I spoke to Marcel (Brands, sporting director) before going to West Brom and I did the same at the start of the season because I thought I would have to go out to play games.
“I have made clear for the past two years I just want to play football. I felt I needed to get my point across and show I wanted more than to be filling up a space here.
“But I am glad I stayed with it and the club stayed with me. Marcel has always shown faith in me."
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