By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

10th May, 2021 | 4:18pm

Kevin Campbell believes Everton are in need of a 'top quality' defender

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Kevin Campbell believes that Everton still need to sign a centre-back in the summer if they are to challenge for the top four next season.

The Toffees have struggled for consistency at the back over the past couple of weeks, with the Blues conceding three of their last four goals due to individual defensive errors.

Michael Keane and Yerry Mina returned against West Ham on Sunday and were able to keep a clean sheet, with the misfiring Mason Holgate relegated to a position on the bench.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News, Campbell explained that Everton must sign top quality players if they are to mount a challenge in the future.

When asked whether Holgate’s recent struggles had illuminated the need for defensive reinforcements, Campbell said: “I think that was always going to be the case, if Everton have got any ambition.

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“Mason Holgate is a decent payer but he’s not top class, he’s a squad player, but if you want the top quality and you’re looking to break into Europe and challenge for the Champions League spots, you need top quality.

“You need people who are not going to get caught on the ball, people who make the right decisions, that is so important.”

Not the priority

Holgate was arguably Everton’s strongest and most reliable defender last season, so it has been disappointing to see him struggle for consistency so much this campaign.

The former Barnsley man isn’t without confidence and assuredness, but he has seemingly lost some of the edge that made him such a formidable opponent for opposition forwards to contend with last season.

Everton currently have four senior centre-backs and that makes it difficult for a defender to retain his spot if he can’t shake off the threat of unforced error, especially as the Blues have grand ambition to break through the glass ceiling that is the top four.

Ultimately Everton’s transfer plans should be prioritised in other areas before significant funds are spent on recruiting a centre-back, purely based on the fact that the club currently have depth in that position.

That isn’t to say that a better option at the back wouldn’t go unwarranted, but with limited resources the Toffees should consider other positions of weakness first before spending needlessly.

In other Everton news, Blues eye ‘Transformed’ PL dribbling sensation, Ancelotti is a ‘big fan’.

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