3 minute read
West Ham United have reportedly turned their attention towards Everton defender Mason Holgate as David Moyes seeks cover for the injured Nayef Aguerd.
What’s the word?
As per 90min, the Hammers have ‘enquired’ about the 25-year-old ahead of a possible move this summer, with the Englishman seemingly fitting the mould of a ‘tactically versatile’ player who can slot in to a back four or back three if needed.
The report suggests that the east Londoners are set to delve into the market once again to land a new centre-back due to the expected lengthy absence of the aforementioned Aguerd.
The £30m signing is potentially set to be out until the New Year after sustaining an ankle injury in the pre-season defeat to Rangers last week.
The Moroccan had been expected to partner Kurt Zouma as the first-choice defensive pairing at the London Stadium this season, but the starting berth alongside the Frenchman is now seemingly up for grabs.
“Championship level” defender
It may prove a wise move for West Ham to bring in adequate cover for the stricken new recruit, but turning to Holgate as that addition would be a bizarre decision, with the former Barnsley defender arguably not at the level required to help improve Moyes’ side.
Should West Ham sign Holgate?
No, not convinced
The £16.2m-rated dud will no doubt still be recovering from a campaign which saw the Toffees only narrowly avoid the drop on the penultimate day of the season, with defensive issues having undoubtedly played their part in Frank Lampard’s side getting sucked into a relegation dogfight.
The Merseyside outfit shipped 66 Premier League goals in that dismal 2021/22 campaign – the fifth-worst record in the division – notably conceding five in a brutal thrashing at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in March.
Following that shambolic performance, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher dubbed the Everton back four, which included Holgate, as “Championship level”, with that scathing assessment a reflection of the £64k-per-week defender’s lack of quality.
Another woeful 4-0 loss to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup a couple of weeks later brought with it further criticism for the former England under-21 international, with talkSPORT pundit Andy Townsend stating: “Mason Holgate I don’t think is good enough to be a regular in the heart of your defence, I think he makes too many mistakes and doesn’t read the game well enough.”
That stinging critique should surely set alarm bells ringing for both Moyes and sporting director Rob Newman, with the evidence pointing to a player who may prove to be a liability if he is to be signed before the September 1st deadline.
The Doncaster native – who arrived at Everton back in 2015 – kept just five clean sheets last term in his 25 league outings and recorded a poor passing accuracy rate of just 68%, showcasing his struggles both in and out of possession.
Although he scored in the meeting between the two teams at the London Stadium last season, that should not mask what would be a frankly foolish move it would be from the usually astute market operator that is Newman.
AND in other news, Moyes can now form “unreal” duo as West Ham given green light for “limitless” £13m signing…