According to a fresh report from Football Insider, Everton have rejected two offers for Mason Holgate.
Newcastle United were credited with interest last month ahead of a potential January bid, though it remains unclear if one of the rejected offers came from Tyneside.
Still, it seems that his recent rise in form following his return from loan has warranted interest from various suitors.
But looking specifically at Newcastle, it does feel like they should probably be aiming a little higher.
If we compare Holgate’s figures so far this campaign to one of the Magpies’ most established centre-backs in Fabian Schar, we can see that the youngster’s fundamental defensive output is inferior to that of the Switzerland international.
In general, we can immediately see that Newcastle’s centre-back is very much rock-solid when it comes to tackling and intercepting the ball, averaging 2.2 and 2.1 per game respectively and successfully edging out the 23-year-old in both categories.
Holgate is not that far behind with 1.7 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game but if Newcastle truly want to reinforce their squad, they should be aiming to bring players in who would represent upgrades on their current options.
Granted, the talent with the current Everton ace is often visible in his aesthetic style and composure in possession, and he also can rival Schar from a statistical perspective in some categories.
When it comes to aerial duels the pair both record 1.7 per game and Holgate actually boasts a better record when facing up to a rival attacker, with players bypassing him on just 0.4 occasions per game compared to 0.9 for the former La Liga man.
Naturally, with Schar 28 and Holgate 23, it could be argued that the latter could eventually go on to become a better player if he fulfils his potential.
And Steve Bruce’s somewhat pragmatic approach to games should also be taken into consideration as that may well be inflating his player’s defensive figures.
For that reason and if we assume they are looking for someone who could immediately add to their squad, this failed bid just might have been a dodged bullet after all.