Everton have made plenty of financial blunders in recent times, which has led to their notoriety across the Premier League for overspending.
However, before that, they were a side that was more than capable of picking up cheaper young talent and developing them into the first team.
Has Mason Holgate been a success at Everton?
This was seen in their acquisition and subsequent explosion of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, however around the same time, they also signed another exciting English talent who would go on to achieve similar feats to him.
Mason Holgate joined from Barnsley just one year earlier than the Sheffield-born striker, for a fee of £2m.
He instantly drew comparisons with another of their purchases from the club, with John Stones having too joined from the Tykes. The 28-year-old would go on to be sold for £47.5m just a year after Holgate’s arrival.
There were high expectations for the 25-year-old, who looked confident and calm, which often blended into arrogance at times whilst on the ball.
Having since gone on to play 144 times for the Toffees, he has announced himself as a decent option for depth amongst the squad.
He might be slightly more reckless than the likes of James Tarkowski or Michael Keane, but his speed and flair often give him the edge over defenders such as the former Burnley men.
The fact that he has also captained the club on a few occasions marks just how much he has grown as a player and a person, despite having faced plenty of hardships whilst at Goodison Park.
His improvement can be captured through his CIES Football Observatory value, which now stands at €15m (£13m).
This marks a 550% increase from his initial fee, showing that Everton still have the capability to nurture their own talent rather than throwing copious amounts of money to acquire it.
The Athletic journalist Greg O’Keeffe noted Holgate as “solid defensively” whilst discussing a lineup back in 2017, a year where he featured 21 times in all competitions.
Only in the 2019/20 season did we start to see the best of this defensive stalwart, after Carlo Ancelotti had come in halfway through the season. Holgate turned his form around to secure an average SofaScore rating of 7.01.
Although he still has a long way to go before he is recognised as a truly impressive defender for the club, his rise in value means they have already hit the jackpot on the versatile gem.