Leeds United have reportedly made an enquiry to sign Everton defender Mason Holgate ahead of the January window, a player that Rio Ferdinand once claimed in 2020 is one of England’s best young defenders – and touted a call-up.

Holgate, 26, has lost his place in Everton’s starting line-up after starting the season in the back four. Starting Everton’s first four Premier League matches, he lost his place after a knee injury and has been unable to recover his spot.

He did play in a Carabao Cup match against Bournemouth of late, but James Tarkowski and Conor Coady are first choice. So, Holgate could be available come January. He has a contract at Goodison Park until the summer of 2025.

The Sun claim Leeds have made an enquiry to Everton to sign the defender – who has played 145 times for the Toffees. Bought for £2million by the Toffees, the Doncaster-born star is likely to cost more now – even if he is a fringe player.

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Ferdinand spoke to Everton’s website in 2020 and was full of praise for the defender. He said: “He’s in a really superb place. His form for Everton has been excellent – he’s been one of the most consistent players in a blue shirt. 

“Everton have got one of the best young centre-halves in the country – that’s a fact. He’d been touted as being in the next England squad [before lockdown]. He’s brought that to another level this season,” Ferdinand said back in 2020.

Leeds have made enquiry to sign Everton defender Holgate

A bizarre move if true. Unlikely, given one area Leeds are well-stocked in is at centre-back. Pascal Struijk is playing on the left, but he is seen as a long-term replacement for Liam Cooper. The captain remains first choice at the back.

Robin Koch scored against Monaco on Wednesday and is in his best form since joining Leeds. Diego Llorente has been poor and it might be that Holgate is eyed as a replacement for him. But Leeds have young defenders coming through.

Charlie Cresswell is seen as a real talent and is out on loan at Millwall. Kris Moore is also an impressive part of the Leeds 21’s side. Signing a centre-back should be low down on our list of transfer priorities in January.

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