Everton F.C. have completed the signing of teenage defender Mason Holgate from League One side Barnsley for an undisclosed fee.
Having penned a five-year deal at Goodison Park, Holgate, 18, has become the Toffees’ second summer signing following the arrival of Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona.
According to reports, the Merseysiders beat out the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur for the 18-year-old’s signature.
“With Mason, an opportunity came up and we didn’t want to lose out. He is a young man with a very impressive future,” Martinez told the club’s official website.
“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.
“Mason, already at 18, has played 20 games in League One, which shows his incredible potential.
“I feel that we are the perfect place in order for Mason to develop into a top footballer. I know that he is a player who can bring us something quite unique, so we are excited about that possibility, even though he is one for the future rather than now.”
Holgate, who enjoyed a trial at Manchester United earlier this summer, scored one goal in 20 League One appearances for Barnsley last season.
Stones not for sale
Meanwhile, in other news, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has insisted Chelsea target John Stones will not be sold during the summer transfer window.
The England international, 21, has been the subject of two reported bids, the latter being £25 million, from the reigning English Premier League champions, both of which have been rejected by the Toffees.
Despite the ongoing reports linking him with a summer exit from Everton, Stones started the club’s Premier League opener against Watford and impressed before being beaten by Odion Ighalo for the Hornets’ second goal.
“I have said before the player is not for sale and that is the end of it,” Martinez said. “Our situation has been very clear from the beginning. We are not a selling club who will lose our best performers.
“His performance at the weekend was very strong and for a young man to come up with that leadership is a real sign of what he is as a footballer.
“He is very important player for us and we are looking forward to seeing the best of John over the next few seasons, not just the next few weeks.”