‘I couldn’t turn England down. I’m from Doncaster!’: Everton defender Mason Holgate wants to commit to the Three Lions, despite being able to play for Jamaica through his grandparents
- Everton defender Mason Holgate wants to play for England at international level
- Holgate hasn’t won a senior cap for the Three Lions and could play for Jamaica
- He is in contention for a first call-up this month for games with Italy and Denmark
Everton’s Mason Holgate wants to commit his international future to England despite being able to play for Jamaica through his grandparents.
Holgate, 23, is eligible for either nation because he hasn’t won a senior cap for the Three Lions, though he has played for the under-21s.
He is in contention for a first call-up later this month for games against Italy and Denmark and as a proud Yorkshireman, the defender has made it clear who’d he like to represent.
Everton defender Mason Holgate wants to commit his international future to England
‘I couldn’t turn England down. I’m from Doncaster!’ said Holgate, who has been impressive form under Carlo Ancelotti since switching into the centre of defence from right-back.
‘I’m concentrating on my games for Everton because it’s my performances here that will dictate what happens at international level. The time will inevitably come when I need to make the decision and that’s when I’ll do it.
‘My grandma and grandad are Jamaican so it would be nice for that side of the family but I don’t think my mum and dad would speak to me if I turned England down. I don’t think I’ve got much of a choice.
‘I’m English, I’ve come through the age-groups, I’ve always been an England fan, supporting them at World Cups and Euros. So as much as I would love to do that for my grandma and grandad and they would be proud of me, I see myself as English and it’s England who I want to play for.’
England manager Gareth Southgate was at Goodison Park to see Everton’s draw with Manchester United last weekend and will keep a close eye on them facing Chelsea on Sunday.
Holgate is in contention for a first call-up later this month for games against Italy and Denmark
‘Both teams last Sunday had a lot of English players, so he would have been coming to watch a lot of players. It’s something I can’t really affect, I can only do what I can for Everton and then if that leads to a call-up, it leads to a call-up and I’ll be the happiest man in the world. Ultimately, it’s not my decision, it’s his (Southgate) to make.’
Like his Everton team-mates, Holgate has enjoyed working under Ancelotti who boasts a stellar cv and has helped Everton climb from the lower regions of the Premier League to challenging for a European spot.
‘It doesn’t even need to be said about the players he’s worked with, the teams he’s worked with, the things he’s won,’ added Holgate.
‘I don’t think you’ll find many managers more experienced, so everything that he says is coming from a place where he’s done it before and he knows what he’s talking about. It makes it a lot easier to, not just for me but the all the lads, to respect him and do what he says. That’s showing from our performances and the way we’re playing.’
Holgate had been linked with Manchester City earlier this season leading Everton to move fast and snap him up last week on a new five-year contract.
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