Mason Holgate has stated that he considered leaving Everton before Frank Lampard’s arrival as manager.
During the first half of the season, the Everton defender was out of favour.
Holgate made just 10 outings under Rafa Benitez, and he was sent off against Tottenham in November after a 0-0 tie.
Due to this, speculation over the former England international’s future in January’s transfer window began to spread.
Newcastle United and Burnley, both in the Premier League’s relegation zone, were mentioned, as were Ligue 1 clubs Monaco and Nice.
Holgate, on the other hand, has appeared in all five of the Toffees’ games since Frank Lampard took over as manager.
The Yorkshireman admitted he could have left the company if a change in leadership hadn’t occurred.
When asked if he had thought of moving elsewhere, he said:
“If I am honest, yes.
“Everton is all I’ve known as an adult and it was going to be a very difficult decision.
“But if I didn’t think I was bringing anything to Everton, I’d feel I was hindering the club and wouldn’t want that.
“And I’d believe I could give something elsewhere. No matter how much you love one club, it is a short career.
“I could sit back when I am 40 after not playing many games and Everton would still have that big part of my heart, but I’d think, ‘Did I get the maximum from my career?’
“And I wouldn’t be able to answer, yes. I’d be saying I was happy to sit there and be a spare part.
“That is never something I’d want to do. I became a footballer to play football.”
During Lampard’s five games in the Goodison hot seat, Holgate has been a constant presence.
Toffees fans now expect him to play an important role in the club’s fight to avoid the drop.
And Holgate admits that Lampard’s management style has helped him regain his self-confidence.
“To be honest, I’ve not felt that level of confidence in me for a long time.
“I would never criticise anyone who has been here before, they worked hard and made the decisions they thought were best for the team.
“But it goes back to those big parts of my time here when I’ve gone into games thinking, ‘If I don’t get a clean sheet or play out of my skin, I won’t play next week’.
“It’s been a bit more relaxed with this manager, I can play my game, and, hopefully, keep doing well for the team.
“I feel I have had more support to show what I can do – and consistently playing games in my position is a huge help because I can get settled and know what I am doing.”