Age: 21 *
At Club Since: Summer 2018
Total Club League Appearances (Goals): 5(0) *
For so much of last season, the debate was whether Chris Stokes or Ryan Haynes was the better option at left-back, Mark Robins’ transfer activity this summer, in signing two left-backs, seems to be an indication that he felt neither Stokes nor Haynes were up to the standard required to be first-choice for us in League One. The signing of Brandon Mason seems to be a bit of a punt on a relatively inexperienced player to provide back-up to the more senior Junior Brown at left-back, with a view towards Mason developing into a first-choice option over the course of his two year contract.
The Watford academy product has very little first team experience – including a loan spell at Dundee United that lasted one game, a 6-1 defeat – but was viewed as one of Watford’s top youth prospects with his career thus far having been held back by the imperative for a Premier League club to call upon tried and tested senior players. In terms of his style of play, Mason is an attacking option at left-back and, based on the one time I’ve seen him play – in an FA Cup match against Millwall a couple of years ago – is someone who appears to have once been a winger, converted into a full-back. Mason’s attacking instincts make him an intriguing choice as back-up at left-back to another forward-thinking player, the benefit of having Chris Stokes and Ryan Haynes as options last season was that they were different types of left-back and could be rotated based on the demands of the team at the time. Nonetheless, given that Mason had been on the fringes of a Premier League squad, this could well be the signing of a good calibre currently undervalued by a lack of experience.
*As of 30/09/2018