Ancelotti: Zero chance of Holgate leaving Everton

Friday, 28 February, 2020 95comments  |  Jump to last

Updated Carlo Ancelotti has poured cold water on speculation that Mason Holgate is a summer transfer target for Manchester City.

The Mirror claimed an exclusive in report last night that the current Champions are weighing up a move for the talented defender as they look to strengthen a defence that has been affected by injuries this year and where John Stones, the last player City have plucked from Goodison Park for big money, is no longer a first-choice starter.

The report suggests that City could offer Stones as a makeweight in the deal.

Ancelotti was asked about the story during his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Manchester United and he was emphatic about his desire to keep the 23-year-old on Merseyside.

"Mason Holgate is an important part for the future of Everton and there is no possibility he can go in another club," he said. "Zero possibility, like my friend Mourinho would say."

Holgate has had a break-out season for Everton this season and is expected to be offered new terms by the Blues' hierarchy in a bid to keep him at the club.

Quotes sourced from The Mirror


Reader Comments (95)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 28/02/2020 at 07:03:17
Carlo will want to build his team around young players like Holgate so I’ll give this a 1 out of 10 chance of happening.

Now £60m plus Stones that’s a different matter.

Peter Gorman
2 Posted 28/02/2020 at 07:09:18
"The report suggests that City could offer Stones as a makeweight in the deal."

Oooof. As predicted by a few on TW when they first saw Mason play; he is the better boy from Barnsley.

John Keating
3 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:18:14
Not only Stones
If they added Ederson the goalie, De Bruyne, Jesus and Aguero then we should really consider it
Kenny Smith
4 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:24:06
I’d have stones back in a heartbeat but I’m not sure I’d swap him for Holgate. I don’t think they could play together though either. Both take risks and my nerves couldn't take it. Plus as a pair they’d make Pickford look even shitter.
Either one with koulibaly would do me.
Darren Hind
5 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:25:45
Stones was once on course to become one of my favourite all time players, but has been plagued by physical and personal problems which he cant seem to shake for over a year.

I'd pass on this

John G Davies
6 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:26:51
Hasn't happened for Stones at Man City unfortunately. The lad hasn't fulfilled his potential. If Man City are bidding for Holgate, it will be interesting to see what they are prepared to pay.
Brian Williams
7 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:32:12
What IS that? Can anyone else smell that, what IS it?
Oh yeh it's bullshit!


Jim Harrison
8 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:32:26
I wouldn’t touch Stones now. Damaged goods.

Holgate showing a lot of good quality now after a bit of a so so start. Becoming more reliable. I would be happy with him and Mina as firs choice next season with some quality back up, as long as we can get the defensive mid I place ahead of them

Brent Stephens
9 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:38:42
No way. There were always too many defensive errors in him. We got a great deal when we sold him; let's not spoil it by taking him back. We can do better than this.
Conor McCourt
10 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:39:38
This is what I hate about the running of our club. We could all see the development of Mason from his first start under Silva this season and yet the club still haven't got round to securing his long term future.

If City truly want him this will prevent the lad from accepting new terms now and ensure we sell our latest top player for chicken feed as we did last summer.

But hey ho it's better to tie overage cast offs like Scneids and Bolasie and young players like Pennington who have no chance of making it to long term contracts.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:41:02
Holgate is better with the ball at his feet than he is at actually defending, very much in the same mound as John Stones, I don’t believe Stones has really progressed as a defensive player since leaving us.

We need a heart on sleeve defender, this was something that even hit me even more when we tossed away those late goals against Newcastle when they were bombarding us with high balls, our two central defenders Mina and Holgate were missing presumed dead in the face of the onslaught.

I think Holgate next to a Terry Butcher type defender might work, but to sit here and say I’m really convinced about Holgate (or Mina or Keane ) for that matter would be wrong, none are great at what their first job should be.

Hugh Jenkins
12 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:42:41
I agree with Colin (1), that Carlo will want to keep Holgate - but I also predict that his ultimate role will be as CDMF interchangeable at CH, particularly if Gbamin recovers and gets to play.

I therefore also think that with Gomes now fit again, in the summer we will try to recruit a new CH and another creative CMF the same interchangeable role.

I think that Michael Keane may well then be sold.

Ajay Gopal
13 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:44:37
Regarding the transfer of Holgate to city, I saw a figure of 30 million being bandied about. Ha ha ha.

I am sure that Ancellotti has no intention of selling Richarlison, Holgate, SCL, Gomes, Davies or any of our future stars.

Don Alexander
14 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:52:26
For all his talent with the ball John Stones in my opinion has been well and truly sussed by everyone as being vulnerable if rapidly pressed and, frankly, a bit of a wimp when it comes to muck-and-bullets games.

It saddens me to say it because when he first came to light I said he reminded me of Beckenbauer, and with the ball he still can, but Der Kaiser hardly ever made a mistake and was well capable of "looking after himself", and others.

He seems to me to be a lad too much in love with himself but he's still fairly young (25) so he still has time to reach the heights albeit I have way more faith in Mason.

Michael Lynch
15 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:55:25
Holgate's agent must have started this ridiculous rumour. There's no way City are looking at signing Holgate at this stage. And there's no way Stones is coming back to Everton at this stage.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:03:40
I wouldn’t pass on Stones, if the price was right Darren, but I wouldn’t sell Holgate though.
Ray Roche
17 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:04:06
According to the BBC Gossip page (I know, I know) Everton turned down an offer for Michael Keane late last year. Knowing Levy, it would have been about £3m.
As for City allegedly offering £30m, pathetic reporting.
Darren Hind
18 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:10:27
I wouldnt say No to Stones Tony, but at the right price. He has had so many niggling injuries you wonder when he will ever get back to the international center half who won League titles

I meant I'd definitely pass on any deal regarding Holgate.

Dave Williams
19 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:21:57
I think Mason has two years left on his contract so we would not have to sell him cheap but if we are serious about progressing he has to stay. I’d take Stones back at the right price to replace Keane and look carefully at young Gibson who seems able to look after himself at Fleetwood- he could save us a fortune in the summer.
Brian Harrison
20 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:47:20
I would think the last thing this club should even consider is selling Holgate or Richarlison or DCL as all 3 have been rumored to be targets for top clubs. They are the shining lights at the club at present, and only if any of these players put in a transfer request should we consider selling them.

I would imagine if any are sold without that being the wish of Ancelotti, then I think Moshiri might be looking for another manager. As for Stones coming back I always say whether it be a player or a manager never go back it very rarely works out. Plus what will that say to our young aspiring lads in the Under 23 set up, the chances of making the first team are slim or non existent.

Paul Hewitt
21 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:48:42
Don't want Stones anywhere near our club. Though he was too good for us so went City. He soon got found out for what he is. An overrated bag of shite.
Conor McCourt
22 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:59:54
Dave/Ray- whether this is fabricated journalism is most probable but the proposed valuation is in line with the terms and length of his contract. How good the player is not the biggest factor unless more than one club will enter a bidding war.

The reason Barca were linked with the astronomical sum for Richarlison was because he had just signed a long term contract and so that reflected in the proposed fee.

We will not be financially recompensed should there be an element of truth in the reports.

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 28/02/2020 at 10:03:44
Brian #20 "never go back it very rarely works out. Plus what will that say to our young aspiring lads in the Under 23 set up, the chances of making the first team are slim or non existent".

Yes exactly, Brian, this wouldn't fit in with the explicit strategy that Carlo and Brands have set out. Unless the lad were top drawer.

Paul #21 I wouldn't go as far as calling him a bag of shite, as you say (I thought he was an exciting signing when we got him), but the fawning over, and predictions about, Stones from some of our fans when he was with us were also OTT and ultimately misplaced. Predictions of certain success or failure can come back to bite you. A pity it hasn't worked out for the lad as he would have wanted.

Ray Roche
24 Posted 28/02/2020 at 10:09:35
Conor, interesting that you mention Barca and Richarlison, both clubs came out and said it was a complete fabrication. Again, more “fake news”.
Papers invent stories to sell papers, nothing more.

I hope!

Conor McCourt
25 Posted 28/02/2020 at 10:35:41
Ray, I'm not giving credence to any of the stories but pointing out that with Richarlison we are safeguarded financially at least. Had Barca been linked last summer, I'm sure the media linked fee would be closer to the £60 million mark.

It could be a ploy from Holgate's camp or it could be fake news but it highlights our vulnerability and it should have been sorted now as Mason is an established first-team regular.

Bill Gienapp
26 Posted 28/02/2020 at 10:40:20
I'd be a lot more upset about Holgate leaving than I was about Stones. His attitude and mental makeup, more than anything, will be crucial to the team moving forward.
John G Davies
27 Posted 28/02/2020 at 11:06:27
Paul H,

Strong terms mate. You are right though, he was never the player some made him out to be.

Jimmy Hogan
28 Posted 28/02/2020 at 11:15:52
"Holgate has had a break-out season for Everton this season and is expected to be offered new terms by the Blues' hierarchy in a bid to keep him on Merseyside". In other words, his agent is briefing the press to get a better deal.
John Hammond
29 Posted 28/02/2020 at 11:47:37
He's on 100k a week with City so I doubt we'll be spunking that on bringing him back when it could be used to get someone better.

Zouma on the other hand is on less than half of that...

Chris Williams
30 Posted 28/02/2020 at 11:53:23
Because of the supposed FFP issues, this could well be the sort of transfer we could see happening, Kenny the same maybe? Others?

On a separate issue, I see Barkley could be offloaded by Chelsea in the summer. He’s 26 now, it says. Has he reached his potential yet do you think? At least they should get more back for him than they paid us.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

31 Posted 28/02/2020 at 11:54:44
Clickbait at its best.

But as Conor points out, it would be wise to tie Holgate down to an improved and extended contract now.

Interest in the lad will only grow if he continues in the rich vein of form he is in. It will increase further if he makes the England Euro squad and gets game time.

The most negligent Everton has ever been in this respect was letting 18-year-old Wayne Rooney go off to Euro 2004 where he announced himself to the world, with just one year left on his contract.

When the inevitable interest came, Everton was in no position to retain him or bargain for a better deal. Promises of making him the highest paid footballer in Everton's history and making him captain came too late.

I hope Brands is very much onto this and that we will see the announcement of extended contracts for both Mason and Dom before much longer.

Ray Roche
32 Posted 28/02/2020 at 12:01:55
Conor@25

I agree with all the points you make, we must be a bit more savvy and get players tied down sooner.

Jay, I have more confidence in DCL signing an extension than I do Mason. Just a feeling.

Rob Halligan
33 Posted 28/02/2020 at 12:14:17
Why go to city, after all, they haven't got European football for the next two years!
Tony Everan
34 Posted 28/02/2020 at 12:27:51
No to Stones, really talented but not tough enough at CB, makes regular mistakes and can be overpowered.

Mason Holgate is a player I have enjoyed improve a lot this year, he is getting better and will improve further, keep him. Same goes for Dominic Calvert-Lewin. As for Richarlison he is on his way to be a world class game changing player, keep him in a blue shirt for at least the next 2 or 3 years . JJK and Tom will enter the fray too. Mina is still very young and most of us feel Anthony Gordon is going to make an impact.

This is the nucleus of a blossoming young team that will only get better. It has proper quality that puts us in with a good shout next season to achieve top 4 and win a trophy.

Here's a cunning plan..

Don't sell our best players . buy other teams' best players instead, then we might win something for a change.

Tony Everan
35 Posted 28/02/2020 at 12:39:02
^

sorry missed out Moise Kean too, who is going to be explosive as he grows into the team.

Alan McGuffog
36 Posted 28/02/2020 at 12:46:40
Hopefully it's all horse shit. But consider. We've had a hole in our midfield since allowing Gueye to leave. A player in his prime, playing at his best, and with time on his contract still to run. But, as I recall, we didn't want to stand in his way. Whatever that means.
So, if this isn't horse shit, I'm not exactly brimming with confidence in this grand old teams transfer policy.
Tom Bowers
37 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:20:12
Whatever will be, will be. We cannot control what player feels is in his own best interest.
Everton have a history of decent defenders getting poached by City, Lescott, Stones and Richard Dunne ( who may have had personal problems but was very consistent for City).
Holgate has certainly improved this season and it would be nice for him to stay but City are at the top and have the big bucks to offer him. (if the story is true).
Dick Fearon
38 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:33:40
Remember a year ago when Stones was touted as England's best centre-half and I pushed a lone barrow on here for daring to suggest he was not even the best centre-half at Everton.

Isn't it amazing how quickly that barrow turned into a bandwaggon.

Darren Hind
39 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:34:43
Post 23

"predictions about Stones from some of our fans when he was with us were also OTT and ultimately misplaced"

I had to read that twice to make sure it wasn't a typo... Then I saw the poster.

So let me get this straight; Stones didn't get hunted by the two most successful managers in this country since Ferguson retired? He didn't go and play for a top club?... He didn't win league titles and cups? He didn't win all those caps for England?

Stones is in his mid-twenties. If he can shake off the last 18 months of injuries, which have so frustrated Pep. He can go on to win even more. The people who correctly predicted all those things for him (those who can spot the blindingly obvious) may prove to be even righter than they were in the first place.

I can understand the fear some have that predictions may come back and bite them on the arse... Especially the ones who can't even get it right with the benefit of hindsight

James Hughes
40 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:49:56
ERRRMMM choice between Stones and Keane/Mina. It would be Stones every time. The lad can play football.

He didn't want to stay, and I can't blame him, for the abuse he used to get. So I doubt he would be in a hurry to get back here.

Francis van Lierop
41 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:51:55
Laughable offer, will most likely be the opinion of Marcel & Carlo. I don't think Carlo would like him (Mason) to go for double the mentioned amount. He's better coming out of defence than John Stones ever was. Better than Maguire too, who fancies himself too much.
John P McFarlane
42 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:53:58
Put to bed by Carlo:

"I think it's a rumour. If it's not a rumour, I can say Mason Holgate is an important part for the future of Everton and there is no possibility of him going to another club."

John G Davies
43 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:02:18
They won't sell him for £30 million. Now if someone came in with the same money we got for Stones they may.

Talking of Stones, and the disparity in opinions on his ability, I think somewhere in the middle of the very strong-minded various opinions would be about right. Hopefully the lad gets his career back on track with a move.

With broad reference to posts over the course of Stones's career to date. He is not absolute shite, that's obvious. He is also not Bobby Moore reincarnated; that is even more obvious.

Paul Hewitt
45 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:19:59
James @ 40. Any abuse he got was down to his own stupidity. I remember Stones telling the Park End to calm down after he tried to play out of him penalty area, and lost the ball. Thought he was far better than he was, after Martinez spent a season blowing smoke up his arse. Keep well away. Holgate is a far better player.
Sam Hoare
46 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:29:38
Would they take Keane for £30m instead?

Crazy to think that 4 months ago we probably would have sold Holgate for £15-20m in a heartbeat. Have a good run of ten games or so in the Premier League in your early twenties and your value triples.

Still early days for Holgate but I love his composure. Needs to work on his positioning and concentration and then he could be the real deal with a good partner.

James Hughes
47 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:44:25
Paul, I remember the game well and he was well within in his rights to give it back to the Park End.

Also how about the wonderful erudite 'supporter' who yelled abuse at him pre-season after his transfer request, do you remember the clip? What was Stones? A fucking rat? yelled at him from yards away, for well over a minute. What a class supporter.

I will say again, he's better than Mina or Keane.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:48:25
Put together
Brent Stephens
49 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:53:09
James #46, yes, he might have given us some heart-stopping moments but you never boo a player while a game is in progress. Personally I wouldn't even boo once the game is over.
Jay Harris
51 Posted 28/02/2020 at 15:39:23
As regards John Stones IMO he is OK with the ball at his feet but is not a great defender and is just as much a liability as Michael Keane is.

He is far too cocky for his own good and has been found out as more teams are adopting a pressing game in the last few years.

Ray Roche
52 Posted 28/02/2020 at 15:43:03
Sam@45

Yes Sam, and if Moshiri wasn’t here I’m pretty sure Bill would have sold him as well.

Sam, I’ve binged watched “ Traitors “. Was that you in it? Excellent series, hopefully door left open for another series.

Sam Hoare
53 Posted 28/02/2020 at 16:06:14
Ray, yes thats me! Glad you enjoyed it. No plans for series 2 yet sadly.
Kieran Kinsella
54 Posted 28/02/2020 at 16:07:31
Stones the flaming crows. John follows the likes of David Bentley, Tomas Brolin, Jack Rodwell, Stephen Hughes etc in being another who peaked young, and his peak was mistaken as being just a developmental stage on his way to brilliance.

At this point, he's about as useful as a knife at a gunfight. He's barely mobile, mentally broken, probably seriously needs to retire asap for his own health.

Ray Roche
55 Posted 28/02/2020 at 16:17:13
Sam, they've missed a trick if they don't commission another series. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Good to put a face to the name.👍
Conor McCourt
56 Posted 28/02/2020 at 16:32:12
Sorry, Kieran, they are ridiculous comparisons. Stones is possibly still in England's first-choice team, initially was considered a success at Man City and, for the last two seasons, he has lost his way at one of the best sides in world football. No shame.

Guardiola has clearly lost faith in the player and it may be time for him to look elsewhere. He may not have scaled the heights many predicted but he is still a top Premier League centre-half and has plenty of time to rediscover his form.

He isn't the most physical and has always played his best beside a beast but, since Kompany has left, he hasn't had that.

Robert Tressell
57 Posted 28/02/2020 at 17:05:51
Not that I want him back particularly, but Stones is excellent. Same for Lukaku. Barkley and Deulofeu are very good but a notch down. Don't want them back either.

Liverpool are about to win the title with... some lad anyone could have bought from Celtic, a left-back from Hull, dimwit Henderson from Sunderland, a winger from Southampton and some lad from Hoffenheim who is not quite a winger, not quite an attacking midfielder. Point is, we don't half turn our noses up at quality and potential on this site. Messi – too small, only done it at one club.

Martin Mason
58 Posted 28/02/2020 at 17:30:53
Stones hasn't proven to be a failure in any way, so 'told you so's are no better than a laugh just for now. Stone's problem is that he doesn't fit into Guardiola's very fixed vision of how he wants his centre-backs to play. Stones still has a great future and I can't see it being at Everton.
John P McFarlane
59 Posted 28/02/2020 at 17:33:30
Robert,

You're correct, it seems that some people castigate any player who happens to be in possession of a first-team Everton shirt, but as soon as they are released either temporarily or permanently, their stock rises exponentially.

Worse still those wearing red, regardless of talent or contribution to the other lot's cause are almost worshipped by some Evertonians. It's a funny old game.

Peter Warren
60 Posted 28/02/2020 at 17:46:24
Martin 56# - how does Stones not fit into Pep’s vision of how he wants his CB’s to play? Is it not that Stones in current form at least, is simply not good enough to get into the side?
John G Davies
61 Posted 28/02/2020 at 18:18:09
Peter, 58

Nail on the head.
Pep has a desperate injury list with centre backs this season. Has he called on Stones to help him out with the situation ?

It's not just this season either.
Have a look at the amount of league starts made by Stones each season since he left us.
Pep bought him.
Pep doesn't trust him.


He is a myth in my opinion.
A legend before he was a player.
He STILL isn't a top class player.
Pep playing his best defensive midfielder as a CB before Stones tells you what you need to know.

John McFarlane Snr
62 Posted 28/02/2020 at 18:18:25
Hi John [57], when I got my first glimpse of John Stones, I told our mutual friend, the late John Twist, that I had seen Everton's centre-half for the next 10 years. Unfortunately, Manchester City apparently saw him in the same light.

Like any footballer, he had his faults, his main failings, in my opinion, were over-confidence on occasion, and not realising that there were times when the best ball was the 'Welly' into Row Z.

I think the game that Paul [44] refers to was against Spurs a few seasons ago, when he dallied with the ball near the goal-line in the final minutes, but I don't think he lost possession.

Colin Glassar
63 Posted 28/02/2020 at 18:28:13
Good points made there Robert, 55. It’s all about assembling a team that can function as a team and not a bunch of misfiring misfits. Their recruitment has been top notch unlike ours.
Mike Gaynes
64 Posted 28/02/2020 at 18:35:30
Stones' problem goes beyond injuries -- it's also performance. Even when healthy, he's been bypassed in favor of Fernandinho, Otamendi and even young Garcia.

The unknown is how much Stones' hard-partying ways and tabloid-worthy social adventures have impacted both his health and his play. He certainly hasn't spent all his time conditioning.

I see no chance he'd come back to Goodison with his tail tucked. I think he'd prefer anywhere else, including Europe, for his next employment.

Either way, don't sell Holgate.

Tony Abrahams
65 Posted 28/02/2020 at 18:41:45
Stones, gets remembered by loads, for not losing the ball that day John Mc, but what a footballer? His second half performance against United, when we lost that semi, in the last minute, was absolutely brilliant. A total footballer, who was a joy to watch at times, I hope he can sort himself out, and prove his many critics wrong?

I’d be surprised If he’s peaked, because I don’t think he’s got anywhere near to fulfilling his true potential, but I don’t think he can do that at City now, because he’s probably lost to much respect off his teammates, for decisions he’s made that have got nothing to do with football, and he now needs to find the mental strength to overcome this, because his talent has never been in doubt.

Tony Hill
66 Posted 28/02/2020 at 19:02:32
Sam #51, you should get together with Andrew Keatley and form a Blue Arts Crew, Southern Area.
Darren Hind
67 Posted 28/02/2020 at 19:10:17
Interesting recent Interview with Pep Guardiola.

On a number of occasions, he has spoken about Stones becoming the very best, but he now seems to be expressing doubts about Stones's desire to get there. He appears to be labeling him a bit of a sick note.

When asked why Stones can barely play back-to-back games, he waved his and and said "injuries, injuries, injuries, injuries". Later, he is tackled by the BBC on the subject, and he was far less sympathetic.

"To reach his full potential, John has to play regularly. In the last 3½ seasons, he could not do it. He has to be fit. After 2-3 games, he fell down and can't play."

Unlike the philistines and the "avit" merchants on here, Pep recognises the sheer quality Stones possess... but he clearly has his doubts about his desire to become the best. He goes on, "He is still young and his future is ahead of him. It's in his hands and head to become one of the best. It depends on him."

There may be legs in this story. The Spanish Maestro is clearly having his patience tested.

Sounds like he doesnt belief Stones is as in love with the game as he should be

Tony Hill
68 Posted 28/02/2020 at 19:18:08
Yeah, Darren, it's a great shame. Like John McFarlane Snr, I thought Stones was going to be a god. The mind does matter...
Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 28/02/2020 at 19:19:30
Yep, Darren. Earlier this month, Pep said of Stones: "He has good points and some have to improve. It is simple, he is a young central defender."

Yet when he picked the teenager Garcia ahead of Stones last month against Sheffield, afterwards Pep said of Garcia: "He never misses one game, he never fails. Always was perfect. He's a guy who doesn't make mistakes. He played 5-10 he was perfect, he didn't make a mistake. So so pleased."

That should have hit Stones right in the stones.


Pat Kelly
70 Posted 28/02/2020 at 20:33:26
Hold out for cash. Shed loads of it.
Peter Mills
71 Posted 28/02/2020 at 22:03:33
I do like the way Carlo deals with the press.
Paul Birmingham
72 Posted 28/02/2020 at 22:08:48
In view of any trade deal, I'd not with all respect look at John Stones.

Regardless, you don't go back. John Stones lost it with EFC fans, many times but the Swansea game, for me exposed his level, nearly 4 years, ago.

I don't want him back, he had his chance, and Mason is our best defensive footballer.

No deal with Man City, in my view, it's not on the agenda, and Mason's career, is better with EFC.

City... in football terms, and history?

Mike Jones
73 Posted 28/02/2020 at 23:27:16
Carlo has said "No". End of discussion. Let's stop being a fan base that wants to sell our best players.
Sam Hoare
74 Posted 28/02/2020 at 23:50:42
Tony @66, I see Andrew a fair bit!
Sam Hoare
75 Posted 28/02/2020 at 23:52:06
Wasn't sure where to put this but thought it a good piece highlighting why we Probably shouldn't buy Sidibe. Or have Kenny as first choice right-next season if we have a decent offer on the table for him.

Djibril Sidibé – to buy or not to buy?

Don Alexander
78 Posted 29/02/2020 at 01:36:12
By 'eck Dazza (#67 & elsewhere ad nauseam) you've always adored the Toffees but your adulation of Pep (and other managers of other clubs) runs him close.

Pep, whichever way you try to present it, has effectively and rightly slaughtered Stones for his performances - albeit in weasel football-speak, which is the bane of "philistine" "avit" football fans I suppose, and even others with the loftier, nuanced aspirations you epitomise as it suits you on whatever day on whatever subject you address.

Pep is right, with the philistine avits, and Stones needs to pull his finger out.

Like you do.

Phil Smith
79 Posted 29/02/2020 at 04:03:29
Yeah, since Kenny came back from injury, he's been shite for Shalke. I'd rather have one of our own then Sidibe though.
Mike Gaynes
80 Posted 29/02/2020 at 05:04:06
Sam #75, that's a good write-up you linked. It pretty much lines up with my own opinions regarding both Sidibe and Kenny. But I come to an opposite conclusion from the author – I think we should keep both of them.

With Sidibe, the issue is talent. He has bags of it, and those tackling and interception numbers just scream it, despite his positional disasters. To me, £12m is just a ridiculously low price tag for that kind of natural ability. If Carlo can teach him proper positioning and technique (much as Moyes did years ago with Coleman), then we've got a modern right-back at a bargain price. If not, he can either be converted to a defensive midfielder (his ball-winning numbers almost equal Gana's) or he can be sold a year from this summer for a handsome profit above £12m. Guaranteed.

Kenny is a different issue – a fierce homegrown warrior who succeeds beyond his talent, or lack thereof, and still just 23 and learning. If he can grow, he increases his value either as a player or a sale asset, and I see no reason not to give him that shot. I do not believe he will turn out to be a top Premier League right-back, but I'm nowhere near sure enough to ship him out.

My hunch remains as it has always been – that it'll be Seamus who moves on this summer, and Sidibe and Kenny who will be the right-backs next season. Our priority shouldn't be at positions we already have covered – not when we have an existential crisis in midfield. Our first three buys in July should be midfielders.

Darren Hind
81 Posted 29/02/2020 at 06:05:22
Don Alexander.

Read your post then read mine. See a difference?

I put up direct quotes from Guardiola. What he actually said – still up there. You on the other hand, try to rewrite the facts by telling us what he REALLY meant.

Your numerous Finch Farm comments and attacks on junior coaches have demonstrated your propensity to speak with authority about things you clearly know nothing about – although it is refreshing to see you give an opinion without blaming Franny Jeffers or John Ebbrell... or Uncle Bill.

Guardiola did not win all those trophies by engaging in your imaginary "weasel football-speak". If anything, he is famed for doing the opposite. He is ruthless.

Read the quotes again... slowly. The guy doesn't criticize the player's performance on the pitch. He questions his desire to get on the fucking pitch in the first place. If his performances were the issue, he wouldn't be so frustrated; he would simply leave him out all-together.

Get back to me when you have worked out the difference between adulation and recognition of a man's achievements.

Sam Hoare
82 Posted 29/02/2020 at 08:22:22
Mike@80, I agree to an extent.

Certainly RB is not the priority. I think CM and RM are the biggest issues though it’s possible we might buy a striker (Edouard) and move Richie to RM. I’d prefer to keep him up front.

I’m not so sure we’d definitely make profit on Sidibe. He’ll be 28 by the time we buy him and not that many clubs want 29/30 year old RBs with suspect positioning, especially if he plays less next year. £12m is a decent price certainly but my worry is you just have to replace him 2 or 3 years down the line whereas someone like Digne is a better full-back, will last much longer, potentially earn a big profit and only cost £6m more.

As for Kenny, I’ve always liked him but I’m afraid he doesn’t possess the physical attributes I’m looking for in a modern full back. He could be an excellent back up but I’m not sure he’d want that and if Schalke offer £15m plus sell on I’d let him go.

It depends what is out there but given how much Ancelloti uses the full backs I think we need a RB who matches Digne and that means aiming a bit higher; either coming Summer or the one after. Aarons would be great but there are a few talented young RBs out there.

Conor McCourt
83 Posted 29/02/2020 at 09:23:02
Thanks Sam (75) for that excellent article. I doubt we will sign Djibril with Carlo in charge as I feel he will want a right back and a right midfielder in the summer and because he prefers not playing with a wing back.

I agree with the author that we should sell Kenny and be looking at Aaron's with Seamus as back up. He was excellent again last night against Leicester and what I like about him was that he went bonkers at his team mates deep in injury time so obviously has a bit of back bone as well as his obvious talents.

Steve Shave
84 Posted 29/02/2020 at 10:04:00
Sam @82 — totally agree! I've been saying it for a while, I feel we only need to invest in real quality for a CM and RM in the summer. In an ideal world we'd add an RB too and a CB but only if we sell Keane. I have repeatedly trumpeted Buendia and Allan (or maybe Doucoure) as the signings we need.

The RB position is a tricky one. If we pass on Sidibe (and personally I think we should) then I would try to sell Coleman (as much as it pains me to say) I think the MLS would be a great destination for him, he isn't getting any younger and loyalty doesn't buy us trophies.

I know you like your transfer gossip like me (Robert Tressell posted an interesting comment on another thread querying if this is because it's been the only thing to shout about/bring excitement for the past years, I concur!) but who would you like to sign as a replacement RB to battle it out with Kenny next season?

I like Atal at Nice, Arrons of Norwich and maybe the young lad at PSV – Dumfries (I think) who I believe is well thought of. I never thought I'd hear myself say it but even if we manage to offload Cenk to Palace or whoever I don't think we need to buy a striker, of course we need to buy a quality RM for that to be the case and keep Richarlison up top. Kean and a few run-outs for Simms should be ample cover.

Sam Hoare
85 Posted 29/02/2020 at 11:21:24
Steve@84, I'm a really big fan of Buendia, very rounded player though I suspect Ancelotti/Brands may want someone with some more express pace if a similar 'intelligent' type midfielder (Bernard or Iwobi) is playing on the other wing. Buendia is excellent though and whoever gets him will do well. I like Raphina, Under or maybe Chukwueze as options.

Allan has been excellent for the last few seasons but there are some signs of his form/ability just waning a little. His athleticism is a big part of his game and at 29 I'd be looking younger unless the price was very reasonable (which would surprise me). Doucore is also a very good player but similarly i'd prefer someone early 20s who'd be a bit cheaper and expect lower wages (FFP will be a big consideration this summer). Sangare is my pick but the likes of Phillips, Bellingham, Soumare, Owusu, Nkunku, Koopmeiners, Zakaria, Zielinksi, Florentino all offer various possibilities. Perhaps Buendia could play in the middle with Gbamin, he certainly makes alot of tackles!

At right back I think Aarons is the obvious pick and would hopefully not be crazy expensive in terms of fee or wages. Atal looks a top class players and will have suitors i'm sure. Klostermann at Leipzig is a good player and I like Maehle at Genk and Dest at Ajax as well as Dumfries who Brands must know well from PSV.

I agree we don't need a striker though the Edouard rumours are interesting. Think he's a really promising, creative forward who would partner either DCL or Kean well and Richie could then add more goals from the midfield that way potentially?

Alan J Thompson
86 Posted 29/02/2020 at 14:48:13
Do they play poker in Italy? I'll raise your €30M by a Gabriel (no, not Jimmy) from Lille and a Foden, let's see if you got the stones, hones.
Gary Carter
87 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:34:15
Love the way people on this site that are not football managers and never will be “champion” the aignjj in nhs of players they have seen play on tv a few times 😂
Brian Williams
88 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:57:29
Jesus Gary did you have a stroke mid post there?
Steve Shave
89 Posted 29/02/2020 at 20:11:24
Gary 87, what would you suggest? You buy consistent high performing Premier League players then you pay through the nose. It's largely just a bit of fun and conjecture to pass the time, mate, cheer up.
Brian Wilkinson
90 Posted 29/02/2020 at 21:29:47
Paul @21, For a moment there, I thought you were referring to Lukaku.

Also, would you take Lukaku back? For me, he has done as much at Everton as Stones did, before he left for Man City.

David Currie
91 Posted 01/03/2020 at 04:43:00
Give Holgate a big new contract and make him captain.
Get it done Carlo?
Jack Convery
92 Posted 01/03/2020 at 07:07:17
Good to hear this news. Player of the season for me so far.
Tony Everan
93 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:21:01
I think Carlo will pass on the offer to sign Sidibie.

He will want Italian-style defensive discipline and organisation as his foundation stone. Sidibé has his qualities but his defensive discipline line and positional seance is sometime too wayward.

He will be commissioning reports on Kenny and will make a decision as to whether he is good enough to be No 1 RB. Seamus could be kept as backup.

If not we will be in the market for one.

Robert Tressell
94 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:29:49
From a financial and playing point of view, it makes sense to give Kenny a chance at right-back next season. £13M option on Sidibé is cheap but it's £13M we can add to the budget for a top-class player.

A defence of Digne, Mina, Holgate and Kenny looks solid to me – with Holgate being the pick of the bunch. And because I'm old-fashioned, it does make a difference to me that the team has a solid base of English local and northern lads.

Eddie Dunn
95 Posted 01/03/2020 at 12:00:42
Holgate is developing very nicely and I am sure he will become an England regular by this time next season. Comparisons with Stones are inevitable after the reported Man City interest. They can both play a bit and both from Barnsley but, of the two, Holgate is playing with more maturity. He shows leadership and is always brave with his passes. He has a mistake in him, as do all the players, in every position.

As for Stones, he did let his ego get in his own way when playing for us. There is nothing wrong with putting the ball in Row Z. I think that he had his mind on trying to show the suitors how clever he was. I think he is one of those guys who has bags of ability but suffered from that problem of a man with all of the "tools", who didn't always know which one to use at any particular time.

I have seen players at my lowly level make exactly the same mistakes. When you have a trick up your sleeve, or the ability to pass, dribble or jink your way out of trouble, you can go for the wrong option.

Being good at football at any level is about learning to make the right choices. Experience usually improves such decision-making, and I reckon that, today, John is a much better player than the lad who left us.

I would welcome him back. The fact that he and Holgate can both play out from the back is not a bad thing – they would soon learn when and who.

I wonder if we could tempt him to come back under Carlo? Perhaps our coach's tender approach would bring him back to his best.

Michael O'Malley
96 Posted 03/03/2020 at 13:13:11
Brian@90 I would have Rom back in a heartbeat, he carried that team for a few seasons and was unstoppable when in top form, the goals against Chelsea in the F.A cup, the header in the Gladys St end against the RS and the goal at City we’re he roasted their defence are my favourites, I wouldn’t have Stones back not my type of defender, maybe he would be better sitting in front of back four spraying passes about but with a bit of extra security behind him
Brent Stephens
97 Posted 03/03/2020 at 18:46:53
Signed five year deal.
Brian Wilkinson
101 Posted 03/03/2020 at 22:24:44
I always thought John Stones would be better playing in a midfield role, pretty certain there is ability there to make it as a midfielder.
Barry Jones
102 Posted 09/03/2020 at 19:28:59
Holgate is Player of the Season, in my opinion. A fabulous talent.

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