Sheffield United: Blades ARE keeping tabs on Everton star

Sheffield United are monitoring Mason Holgate’s situation at Everton, The Star can confirm, as Chris Wilder looks to bolster the options at his disposal during next month’s transfer window.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 4:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:25 pm
Everton's Mason Holgate (centre) and Southampton's Danny Ings (right) battle for the ball earlier this term: Mark Kerton/PA Wire.
Everton's Mason Holgate (centre) and Southampton's Danny Ings (right) battle for the ball earlier this term: Mark Kerton/PA Wire.

Holgate, aged 23, is among a number of potential loan signings the United manager and his coaching staff have identified after being handed their recruitment budget during a recent meeting with Bramall Lane’s board of directors in Dubai.

But United’s interest in Holgate has been complicated by the fact he has started all of Everton’s last nine games, having been ushered into their first choice eleven at Brighton and Hove Albion, who play host to Wilder’s side on Saturday, two months ago.

United’s decision to include Holgate’s name on their list of possible targets has been influenced by concerns an injury or suspension to one of their centre-halves could leave them exposed.

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Although Phil Jagielka proved a more than able deputy for John Egan, when the Republic of Ireland defender suffered a concussion, the 37-year-old could find it difficult to operate in one of the ‘overlapping’ roles currently performed by Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell. Naturally right-footed, Holgate would provide cover and competition for Basham should he be allowed to leave Goodison Park, where former Chelsea and Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti appears set to be unveiled as Marco Silva’s permanent replacement.

Born in Doncaster, Holgate started his career with United’s neighbours Barnsley before heading to Merseyside. He represented West Bromwich Albion on loan last season.