According to the reports from BBC Cumbria Sport as cited by Football.London, Everton had sent scouts to see Carlisle United’s 17-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite in action against Morecambe. Manchester City and Leicester City’s scouts were also present to see Branthwaite from close quarters. Glaswegian giants Rangers and Celtic are said to be keen on the defender.
The young defender was able to break through into the senior team in the second half of last season. Branthwaite turned 17 in June this year, and he has his contract at Brunton Park until 2021. The Cumbrians have an option to extend his stay for another year. However, we feel that with top clubs now vying for his signature, the English fourth tier outfit will find it hard to keep hold of their young talent.
Branthwaite has come up from Carlisle United’s academy, and he recently featured as a defensive midfielder last weekend even though he is a centre back by trade.
What can Branthwaite bring to Goodison Park?
The English youngster is known for his composure and on the ball abilities as he can play out with ease from the back. Probably that is why United recently tried him as a defensive midfielder. Branthwaite is already a massive guy as he stands in at 6ft4, which makes him strong and dominant in the air. Moreover, he also has a decent pace for a player of that frame, and he can surprise a few attackers with his acceleration.
Should Everton go for him?
There doesn’t seem to be too many weaknesses to his game at this point, and it is understandable why a whole host of clubs are vying for his signature. Branthwaite still needs more experience and tactical nuances to play at the top level. But in terms of attributes, he seems to have all bases covered.
Hence, Everton should consider moving in for him even though some top Premier League clubs like Manchester City and Arsenal are also said to be in the mix. Branthwaite might not yet be ready for first-team football, and he is going to be an option for the future.
However, the way his development has been, he shouldn’t take too long to knock on the doors of first-team football if he continues to improve. Everton will get a significant talent if they can lure him in January or sometime in the future. It remains to be seen though what kind of price tag Carlisle United would put up for their 17-year-old defender.
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