Why Bournemouth should beat others to sign Mason Holgate

According to The Sun, Bournemouth are among a host of clubs weighing up a move for Everton defender Mason Holgate, who is valued at around £14million by the Toffees.

The 23-year-old has also emerged as a potential transfer target for Premier League rivals Sheffield United and Newcastle United ahead of the mid-season trading period in January. (h/t Sun)

Holgate, who is still under contract at Goodison Park until the summer of 2022, has only played a bit-part role for Everton in the Premier League since his move to Merseyside from Barnsley back in the summer of 2015. 

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Mason Holgate has emerged as a transfer target for Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Sheffield United ahead of the January window (Getty Images)

A versatile defender capable of playing at both centre-back and right-back, the Doncaster-born former England U-21 international spent the second half of the previous campaign out on loan at West Brom in the Championship as the Baggies made it through to the playoffs. 

Holgate has clocked up 13 appearances in all competitions for Everton this term, including 8 starts in the Premier League, since his return to the club, but the versatile defender presently faces a fight to retain his place in the playing eleven, with Seamus Coleman set to make a return from injury over the coming weeks.

Sheffield United and Bournemouth already have squads stocked with plenty of homegrown talents and Holgate, who has made 61 appearances for the Toffees in all competitions so far, has been identified as a potential target by both clubs ahead of the January window. 

To put things into perspective, Mason Holgate could be a decent addition to all the aforementioned clubs in January but Bournemouth would bag a real coup if they manage to beat off competition for the defender’s services. 

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Holgate is valued at £14 million by Everton (Getty Images)

Having conceded as many as 70 goals in the Premier League last term, strengthening the backline was always going to be at the top manager Eddie Howe’s agenda this past summer. As a result, the Cherries roped in the likes of Jack Stacey and Lloyd Kelly from Luton Town and Bristol City respectively in a bid to shore up their brittle defence.

With that in mind, however, neither of them has made a massive impact in the Premier League so far, as evident from the club’s defensive record of 24 goals conceded in 17 games. 

While the centre-back pairing of Nathan Ake and Steve Cook has done a decent job at the back, lack of quality depth in the reserves continues to be a problem that Howe will surely need to sort out moving forward if the Cherries are to push on for a top-ten finish. 

Academy graduate Jack Simpson and Chris Mepham, who arrived from Brentford last January, are yet to get to grips with the level of competition in the Premier League, and someone like Holgate, who already has some decent top-flight experience under his belt, could well prove to be an upgrade. 

Plus, with Ake continuously linked with a move away from the Vitality Stadium in the upcoming transfer window (h/t Daily Express), Bournemouth might as well start preparing for life without the Dutchman in the days to come. 

To that end, Holgate looks like a player in the right age bracket who perfectly fits the profile of young and developing players laid out by Eddie Howe, who will undoubtedly fancy his chances of transforming the Everton man into a quality Premier League defender, as he did with Ake. 

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Holgate spent the second half of the previous campaign on loan at West Brom in the EFL Championship (Getty Images)

Verdict

The 23-year-old hasn’t really managed to establish himself as a regular in the Everton setup due to various reasons, ranging from stiff competition for places to frequent managerial changes at the club, but he continues to a player with loads of potential.

Furthermore, the former England U-21 international’s versatility to play at both centre-back and right-back should go a long way towards providing Howe with some valuable cover in multiple areas across the backline. 

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All in all, it is pretty easy to see that Bournemouth’s interest in Mason Holgate makes perfect sense for a number of reasons, and at £14 million, he comes as an affordable player in the market with plenty of room for development.