Moore fi­nally gets his man as Ma­son ar­rives to boost the back­line

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - PAUL SUART Foot­ball Writer Ma­son Hol­gate

DAR­REN Moore is con­fi­dent Ma­son Hol­gate will be “a good ad­di­tion” for West Bromwich Al­bion after the young­ster sealed a loan move from Ever­ton.

The 22-year-old, who has made 42 ap­pear­ances for the Tof­fees, will stay with the Bag­gies for the rest of the sea­son and could play a vi­tal part in the club’s promotion bid.

Hol­gate, a cen­tre-back by trade who can also play on the right side of de­fence, was not avail­able for the New Year’s Day de­feat to Black­burn Rovers, but will be el­i­gi­ble for the FA Cup game against Wi­gan on Satur­day.

It’s thought the com­pe­ti­tion from Bag­gies Premier beat off League Bournemouth ri­vals Leeds de­fender.

“I tried to bring Ma­son into the squad in the sum­mer but at that stage Ever­ton were not will­ing to re­lease him,” Moore said.

“I watched him play against Salomon Ron­don in the goal­less draw at The Hawthorns last sea­son and I thought he was out­stand­ing.

“I want to get our busi­ness done as early as pos­si­ble and this is a good start – I’m grate­ful to get him into the squad now.

“First and fore­most he is a good, good player. He is quick, ag­ile, ath­letic, com­fort­able on the ball. He’s a young, up-and-com­ing player with a big fu­ture.

“But he al­ready has good Premier League ex­pe­ri­ence in­clud­ing play­ing in a Mersey­side derby and that is a and Cham­pi­onship to land the ver­sa­tile real fur­nace to han­dle. He will com­pete for the right-back and cen­tral de­fen­sive po­si­tions. His en­thu­si­asm to come also impressed me - he wants to play and I be­lieve he is go­ing to be a good ad­di­tion for us.”

Hol­gate is Al­bion’s first sign­ing of the win­ter trans­fer win­dow and tenth, in­clud­ing short-term con­tracts, since Moore was ap­pointed as head coach last sum­mer.

Hol­gate will add com­pe­ti­tion at right-back, the one po­si­tion where Al­bion have been ex­posed with Tosin Adara­bioyo strug­gling to ad­just to the de­mands of the Cham­pi­onship.

Moore has been des­per­ately short on op­tions at right-back hav­ing al­lowed Al­lan Nyom and rookie de­fender Kyle Wil­son to go out on loan at the start of the sea­son.

Adara­bioyo has of­ten been de­ployed as right-sided full-back while Ty­rone Mears has also filled in and Matt Phillips has op­er­ated as a right wing-back.

After grad­u­at­ing from the Barns­ley youth sys­tem, Hol­gate was named 2014/15 Young Player of the Year fol­low­ing an im­pres­sive de­but sea­son with the first team.

In July 2015 he went on trial at Manch­ester United and a few weeks later signed a five-year con­tract with Ever­ton for a re­ported £2 mil­lion fee.

The Don­caster-born de­fender made his Tof­fees de­but in a 1-1 draw with Spurs in Au­gust 2016. He played in 18 Premier League games in 2016/17 and a fur­ther 15 last sea­son.

But Hol­gate has found it dif­fi­cult to oust Sea­mus Cole­man and Jon­joe Kenny un­der man­ager Marco Silva this term, with the last of his five Premier League ap­pear­ances com­ing in Septem­ber.


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