Southampton: £70k-a-week star can recover after ‘bad start’ at St Mary’s

Southampton: £70k-a-week star can recover after ‘bad start’ at St Mary’s


  • Southampton star Mason Holgate came in for criticism after his debut ended in a 5-0 defeat to Sunderland last weekend.
  • Manager Russell Martin admitted he may have thrown the central defender into the starting line-up too quickly, but believes he will recover from the early setback in his Saints career.
  • Holgate joined Southampton on loan from Premier League side Everton during the final week of the summer transfer window.

Southampton star Mason Holgate ‘needs to get back to a place of positivity’ after making a ‘bad start’ to his St Mary’s career, and transfer insider Dean Jones has told GIVEMESPORT whether the defender is capable of going on to become a success on the south coast.

Holgate was among the fresh faces to link up with Saints as boss Russell Martin spent in the region of £18.5million on reinforcements during the summer window.

Southampton latest news – Mason Holgate

According to the Daily Echo, Martin accepted responsibility after Holgate came in for widespread criticism from supporters when he struggled on his Southampton debut last weekend.

The report suggests the Saints chief admitted he threw the £70,000-per-week centre-back into his starting line-up too quickly, having only trained with his new teammates for a week, but insisted he will recover after the 5-0 mauling at the hands of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Respected journalist Paul Brown recently told GIVEMESPORT that Holgate is a ‘decent player’ and will prove to be a shrewd Southampton acquisition if he can rediscover the form he showed during Carlo Ancelotti’s spell in the Everton hot-seat.

The former England under-21 international joined Saints on loan from the Premier League Toffees for the remainder of the campaign during the final week of the transfer window.

Everton were open to offloading Holgate after he had fallen down the pecking order at Goodison Park, which resulted in him being restricted to just 559 minutes of action last term.

Mason Holgate’s Southampton debut statistics v Sunderland

Minutes played








Ground duels won


Aerial duels won


Possession lost






Match rating


All statistics according to Sofascore

What has Dean Jones said about Holgate?

Jones believes Martin may have made a poor decision by throwing Holgate straight into the starting line-up against Sunderland as he has arrived at Southampton low on confidence after a testing spell on Everton’s books.

But the respected journalist has backed the ex-West Bromwich Albion loanee to improve as time goes on and feels he will help the promotion-chasers to keep clean sheets in their quest for an immediate return to the Premier League.


“It was a bad start. There’s absolutely no hiding from that. But no-one is going to feel that more than Mason Holgate. Russell Martin has already tried to deflect the responsibility from Holgate onto himself by saying, ‘I shouldn’t have picked him and it was too soon’. Perhaps that was the case. Holgate is coming from an environment, at Everton, where everyone was low. Holgate, if he was to play, was probably making high-profile mistakes. He needs to get back to a place of positivity, and that’s going to come with clean sheets. They will come at Southampton.”

What next for Southampton?

Martin will be looking to pick up his 71st win in management, according to Transfermarkt, when Southampton return to action against Leicester City on September 15, but he has been depleted of a wide option ahead of the home fixture.

That is because Moussa Djenepo was allowed to seal his return to Belgian side Standard Liege earlier this week, despite Saints being unable to source a replacement as the transfer window slammed shut days earlier.

It is understood that Southampton have recouped in the region of £3million after the Mali international headed back to familiar surroundings following relegation from the top flight.

Djenepo’s only appearance since the new campaign got underway came in the Carabao Cup defeat to League Two side Gillingham, with him being an unused substitute in three Championship clashes.

The 25-year-old made 91 appearances in a Southampton shirt, finding the back of the net five times and registering as many assists along the way.

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