Nottingham Forest have identified defender Mason Holgate as a potential transfer target this month, according to Sky Sports journalist Rob Dorsett.
Holgate joined Everton back in the 2015 summer transfer window from Barnsley and has gone on to make 145 senior appearances for the Merseyside club across all competitions.
Despite having over two years left on his contract at Goodison Park, the defender has found himself being linked with a move to another top-flight club.
In a recent Twitter post, Dorsett had this to say on the situation.
He said: “NFFC considering Mason Holgate as one of a number of options to strengthen their defence. Holgate hasn’t played a Premier League game under manager Frank Lampard since August. Forest have been approached about numerous players, but may have to offload fringe players first.”
As Dorsett mentioned, Holgate’s lack of game time recently has seen him only appear in one game for the Toffees since August, which was their 4-1 defeat against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup in November.
Despite finding himself down the pecking order at Goodison Park, the Englishman’s league performances earlier in the season saw him prove how much of a capable defensive figure he is.
Specifically, Holgate is in the top five at Everton for the average number of tackles (2), interceptions (1.5), clearances (5.5) and blocks (0.5) per game.
Would you take Mason Holgate at Forest?
His displays have also earned the 26-year-old an overall season rating of 6.85/10 from WhoScored, making him the second-highest-rated outfield player at Everton despite his lack of minutes.
This rating would rank him as Forest’s third-best outfield player, which suggests that he could be a top figure for Steve Cooper’s side if he ends up making a move to Forest this month and replicating his form – though more appearances may put pressure on him to maintain those levels.
Having been hailed as an “outstanding” player in the past by Duncan Ferguson, Holgate could offer extra defensive strength to Cooper’s squad at Forest, which is what they may need if they want to avoid relegation, as only Bournemouth (39) have conceded more goals than them (34) so far this season.