Life at Everton looks an awful lot of fun right now.
With Carlo Ancelotti ushering in an exciting new era and the likes of James Rodriguez taking to life in the Premier League like a duck to water, their early-season form has been really rather remarkable.
Obviously, the loss away at Southampton will have brought burgeoning title hopes down somewhat but, such is the nature of this post-pandemic campaign, any team is quite capable of losing at any given time, so the ridiculous pressure to try and match a 95-100 point total come the season's end is seemingly unlikely to be in play.
So, in a season full of good news so far, news from the Liverpool Echo that Mason Holgate has returned to training is yet another boost.
After establishing himself in the Toffees' first-choice XI in October 2019, the 23-year-old only missed one league between then and the lockdown period.
While the club are reportedly not putting a time-frame on his eventual return to action, the fact he'll be back to battle Yerry Mina at the heart of the defence alongside Michael Keane spells bad news for the Colombian.
Obviously, that isn't to say Mina will instantly be dropped and the busy schedule this year means squads are important as ever but, looking at the stats last season, Holgate looks a more solid option.
Indeed, he both attempted and won more defensive duels last season than Mina has this season, while his 5.04 interceptions per 90 rank much higher than the South American's output in 2020-21.
With sections of the club's support criticising Mina's performance during the first loss of the season down on the South Coast, Holgate's return is timely and his ability to play at right-back is another boost.
Summer signing Ben Godfrey was seemingly targeted by the Saints while playing in what is an unfamiliar role for him, highlighting the lack of genuine options behind Seamus Coleman and Jonjoe Kenny there, so having Holgate fit could help kill two birds with one stone.
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