Everton central defender Mason Holgate is reportedly available for a January loan move. Would it make sense for Leeds United to inquire about his availability with the lack of available central defenders at the club right now?
Everton will let Mason Holgate leave on loan in January, @SkySportsNews understands.— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 17, 2018
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Kalvin Phillips has been filling in at central defence over the past few games with Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi both out injured. And while he’s done a decent job, he’s not a central defender and moving him to defence leaves the midfield short an option. Also, the only backup to Phillips is Academy player Aapo Halme. And while the Finland U21 international looked good in his appearance against Sheffield United, Leeds are still walking a tightrope with the fitness of Pontus Jansson basically being the only thing between Leeds and a crisis.
Mason Holgate is a 22 year-old defender who joined Everton from Barnsley FC in 2015, and he’s already made 48 appearances for Everton, 38 of them coming in the Premier League. And while he’s not necessarily in the first-team plans for Everton right now, the defender has logged important minutes for the Merseyside club, both this season and last year as well. The defender is from Doncaster, so he will also understand what it means to play for Leeds.
Another reason Leeds might be interested in Holgate is his flexibility. Holgate has appeared as both a right back and centre back in the Premier League for Everton. Marcelo Bielsa likes his players to be able to play in different positions, and having someone who can provide cover at multiple positions would certain appeal to Bielsa.
Of course, all of this will be a moot point if Bielsa doesn’t rate Holgate as a player, but it on paper, it seems that Holgate appears to be a decent fit for Leeds, and as a loan move, Leeds wouldn’t be making a huge commitment on the player’s future.
Leeds already took one Everton defender on loan last year, Matthew Pennington, and while he didn’t necessarily work out, it was rumoured that the clubs were going to send Pennington back this year. Perhaps this a deal for Holgate could be done instead.