Koeman's Conundrum! Assessing the 4 Alternatives Everton Have to Seamus Coleman at Right-Back

Wednesday July 19th, 2017

Evertonians have become accustomed to breaking out one particular chant during matches that concerns quite possibly their club's best ever money-for-value signings; the "60 grand" chorus that often lights up Goodison Park, in honour of established defender Seamus Coleman, was aired much more often towards the end of last term following the horrific double leg break he suffered on international duty in March.

Since then, and with a lengthy rehabilitation programme still in full flow, it will be a good while longer before the Republic of Ireland captain is able to take up arms and take back the right-back slot in Ronald Koeman's side.

With Coleman out until the end of the year at the very least, which one of Koeman's other four possible choices will take up Coleman's mantle? Here we run down the options available to the Dutchman...


Mason Holgate

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Seamus Coleman of Everton (R) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Mason Holgate of Everton (L) during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park on January 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/GettyImages

A centre-back by trade - although equally adept at full-back - 20-year-old Holgate enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in Koeman's maiden season in charge.

Deployed in a three-man central defence early in 2016/17, the ex-Barnsley starlet took over from Coleman at right-back from late March onwards, and did more than enough to show his quality in that role.

The Doncaster-born footballer was much more reserved going forward towards the end of last term than at the beginning - remember those lung-busting runs down the right flank against West Brom? - but he showed how capable he was of standing in for Coleman in his absence.

With 21 appearances accrued from 16/17, Holgate will be better for it in the coming season if he is retained at right-back.

Holgate, it must not be forgotten though, is still just a pup at senior and Premier League level, and he will make mistakes in whatever position he fills on the pitch. 

Would these count against him, particularly with Koeman being a ruthless tactician? Or will Holgate's composure, steely determination and potential be enough to win him the role? Time will tell.

Coleman replacement rating: 7/10


Cuco Martina

He's literally only just walked through the door at USM Finch Farm, but Martina will pose a significant threat to Holgate's first-team chances in the coming 12 months.

A Curacao international - and captain of his national side no less - with plenty of senior experience with Southampton, FC Twente, RKC Waalwijk and RBC Roosendaal, the 27-year-old knows the full-back positions inside out.

Martina has featured 220 times at club level and has 31 caps for Curacao - proof he is no pushover - and will certainly give Koeman a more seasoned professional than Holgate to start in Coleman's place.

What could count against him? Well, match fitness for one. The utility man only made 20 appearances for the Saints last term, and has two weeks' worth of pre-season training to catch up on with the Toffees.

If he harbours hopes of staking a regular claim with Coleman sidelined, Martina will have to prove his fitness quickly or possibly miss his chance.

Coleman replacement rating: 6/10


Jonjoe Kenny

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Jonjoe Kenny of Everton celebrates with the trophy during the Premier League 2 match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on May 8, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/GettyImages

The rank outsider, but someone who is in with a worthwhile shout nonetheless, Kenny has his work cut out to become the deputy choice to Coleman on Merseyside.

The 20-year-old right-back only made a brief appearances for the Blues in the 1-0 loss to Swansea on 6th May - appearing as a 78th-minute substitute - to add to the solitary game he featured in during the 2015/16 campaign.

With two more experienced first-teamers ahead of him, what does Kenny have that the others don't?

Well, he'll be riding high after being part of the England U20 squad that secured the Euro 2017 title in the summer, and captained Everton's U23 side to Premier League 2 glory last term too.

Fierce in the tackle, with a wicked cross on him and positionally sound, Kenny has the makings of an Everton star, and it would be a shame to see him pushed down the pecking order by Martina's arrival.


Coleman replacement rating: 3/10


Tom Davies

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Nemanja Matic of Chelsea and Tom Davies of Everton compete for the ball during the Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on April 30, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Wait, Tom Davies? Who revelled in the first-team midfield in the second half of last season?

He's not a full-back, granted, but Davies can certainly do a job at right-back as shown in the second half of May's 1-0 victory over Watford.

With a wealth of centre midfield options available to Koeman for the upcoming campaign, Davies could be pressed into the makeshift role if the Dutch legend deems him the best option for that particular match.

Davies, though, should be retained in the centre of the park no matter what, and should only be considered as a Coleman replacement if absolutely necessary.


Coleman replacement rating: 1/10


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