The defender joined the Saints from Premier League outfit Everton in August on a season-long deal after falling out of favour under Sean Dyche at Goodison Park. However, he has been limited to just five appearances thus far and has been an unused substitute in Southampton’s last four Championship outings.
The 27-year-old was a regular fixture in the Toffees’ defence between 2019 and 2022, playing a key role under the guidance of now-Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti. The emergence of starlet Jarrad Branthwaite and the signing of two-time England international James Tarkowski saw him lose his place in the team and the decision was taken to find him a temporary home last summer.
Holgate is under contract with the Merseysiders until 2025 and it was hoped that the drop to the Championship with a team that was likely to be challenging for promotion would revitalise his career, but it has just not worked out.
As a result, it was reported earlier this week that Everton would recall the former Barnsley man in January before sending him out on another loan to the second tier. Football Insider claim there is interest from Middlesbrough and Watford, although Scottish giants Rangers hope to add his experience to the squad as they chase down Celtic in their pursuit of the Premiership title.
The Championship duo are also in the hunt for successes of their own and are targeting a place in the Championship play-offs in the hope to earn promotion to the Premier League. Both Watford and Middlesbrough endured a poor start to the campaign but have recovered to move up to 10th and 12th respectively.
Holgate is a player who is more than capable of holding his own in the Premier League, let alone the Championship and the Scottish Premiership. It is no surprise to see these teams keeping an eye on his situation at St Mary’s.
His move to Southampton was perhaps the wrong one in hindsight, with Russell Martin retaining the services of a host of players with top tier experience. It was a tough ask for the former England under-21 international to break into the team, especially with the Saints’ recent form which currently sees them comfortably inside the play-off places. A fresh loan is the sensible option.