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Leeds: Mason Holgate swoop could be a repeat of Johnson howler

Leeds United could be set to repeat one of their failures of a bygone era, amid transfer links with a player from a Premier League rival…

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On Saturday, Liverpool Echo writer Joe Thomas was discussing Everton‘s transfer policy in an article for the publication.

Of those potentially preparing to leave Goodison Park, Mason Holgate is namedropped as under consideration from the Whites, alongside another top-flight club in Nottingham Forest.

With the centre-back likely to have little future under Frank Lampard, perhaps Victor Orta could make a move for him instead.

Seth Johnson repeat?

Having struggled to impress under his new boss, or a few of the other managers in the Farhad Moshiri era at Goodison Park, there is little cause to believe that things would be different at Elland Road.

In fact, working to sign an English defender already taking home £70k-per-week is likely to cost Leeds a premium, and it could be seen as going down the same route as when they spent big to sign another English talent before their Premier League relegation in 2004.

Three years previously, Seth Johnson was acquired for a hefty £7m fee, but he saw his time in Yorkshire ravaged by injuries. As such, he would make just 58 appearances across his four-year stay at Leeds, leaving for free in 2005, 11 months earlier than his contract intended.

Fast forward to 2022/23, and Holgate has only featured four times in the league so far, with his involvement in a four-game winless run to kick off the new season having not seen him return to a Premier League line-up since August.

Would you want Mason Holgate?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Only against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup was he recalled, with the 26-year-old going on to contribute to one of Everton’s most embarrassing consecutive defeats in recent history.

He recorded a 6.7 Sofascore rating in that 4-1 defeat, which managed to somehow be an improvement on his 6.65 average rating in the league last season, when he played a large role in the Toffees’ relegation-threatened campaign.

Furthermore, Holgate has also endured a patchy injury record, which could see his career similarly scarred in the way that Johnson’s was.

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Signing a statistically suspect defender, as outlined by match averages of 0.93 blocks and 0.98 interceptions  (which place him in the bottom 21% and 18% respectively when compared to defenders in Europe’s top five leagues over the past 12 months, via FBref), would be a disaster waiting to happen.

Godfrey’s shortcomings were outlined by Sky Sports journalist Ron Walker, who highlighted one of the Everton defender’s “really bad” decisions which handed Aston Villa the lead in a fixture in 2021.

Given their precarious position in the Premier League, Leeds cannot afford to bring in another liability. They must look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements, or else face the financial ramifications of what has all the hallmarks of another transfer blunder akin to the Johnson signing.