Sheffield United make ex-England U21 ace 'key target' for January transfer window
The January transfer window is rapidly approaching, and Sheffield United are likely to be among a number of Premier League sides who will look to strengthen their squad at the season's half-way point.
According to national media reports, the Blades have joined Newcastle United and Bournemouth in the race to sign Everton defender Mason Holgate, who is believed to be valued at around £14m by the Toffees.
The ex-England U21 international, who spent the second half of last season on loan with West Bromwich Albion, has been one of Everton's stronger performers in the 2019/20 campaign thus far, but is likely to lose his spot in the first team now Seamus Coleman is back from an injury lay-off.
The report claims that Holgate has emerged as a 'key target' for Blades boss Chris Wilder, but Bournemouth's fears over losing Nathan Ake and Newcastle's quest to secure new homegrown talent could provide some fierce competition.
Certainly, the 23-year-old's ability to play across the back line – and even in midfield, as evidenced by Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United - could be of real use to the Blades; players with positional flexibility are a real favourite with Wilder, who brought in versatile options such as Callum Robinson and Ben Osborn over the summer.
The Blades' superbly organised defence has been integral to their flying start to the 2019/20 campaign, and has seen them attain the third-best record in the division, with only Liverpool and Leicester City having conceded fewer goals – 14 and 11 respectively to the Blades’ 16.
Holgate would, therefore, likely have to earn a place in the Blades' starting XI, and work hard to challenge Chris Basham for his spot on the right side of the back three, or indeed George Baldock's right wing-back position.