Rising star Mason Holgate thanked Barnsley yesterday for his “incredible years” at the club as a move to Everton finally happened.
The Premier League now beckons for 18-year-old Holgate as he teams up with John Stones, a fellow former Reds’ Academy graduate, at Goodison Park.
Holgate penned a five-year deal yesterday with the Toffees, with both clubs stressing an undisclosed fee.
But The Star understands Barnsley are likely to pocket £1million for the sale of the talented teenager, with the possibility of the deal rising to £2million depending on appearances.
Stones famously signed for Everton in January 2013 in a deal worth £3million to the club, with a potential sell on fee of a rumoured 10-15 per cent if the England defender completes a £30million transfer to Chelsea.
Either way the Reds have money in their pockets and it will be interesting to see whether Reds’ boss Lee Johnson gets to use any of it to strengthen his, as he remarked yesterday, “slightly in-balanced and overloaded” squad.
Holgate used his Twitter account to say: “Just like to say thank you to the club, the fans and everyone associated for many incredible years at Barnsley.
“Looking forward to the new start and exciting challenges at Everton!”
Johnson had been opening to keep Holgate, but interest from Manchester United – who the youngster trained with for two weeks- and fellow Premier League clubs Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Newcastle United meant Holgate didn’t play in either of the Reds’ opening games of the season, against Chesterfield last Saturday and Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night.
Johnson, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Burton Albion, admitted: “Our preparations have been slightly disrupted because of it, but this is the transfer window and this is what happens.
“Mason is a very good footballer. He’s had a good education here at a good club. “He’s got real qualities and is very good on the ball. He’s believes in himself, so he’s got that football arrogance, which is a good thing.
Toffees’ boss Roberto Martinez believes Holgate is blessed with talent, but stressed the player still has work to do before earning his first-team debut.
“With Mason, an opportunity came up and we didn’t want to lose out,” said Martinez. “He is a young man with a very impressive future.
“His development is going to be important and it will be interesting to see how quickly he can have an impact on the first-team.
“But he is not a player who I would expect to perform straightaway in the Premier League - that would be very unfair.”
Ryan Williams is unlikely to feature for the Reds this weekend according to Johnson as the former Fulham winger recovers from injury.