Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Everton Defender Is On Manchester United’s Radar: Why Ancelotti Needs To Keep Hold Of Him

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Daily Mail has revealed that Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite is on Manchester United’s radar. It is understood that the Red Devils are monitoring the progress of the Toffees centre-back, who is currently playing on loan at Blackburn Rovers (via The Daily Mail).

Branthwaite’s Impressive Loan Spell At Ewood Park This Season

Branthwaite is enjoying a good loan stay in the EFL Championship, where he has already produced a handful of impressive displays at the heart of the Blackburn defence. The Carlisle-born defensive ace has featured in seven league matches for his loan employers this term and has done well to make himself a regular starter at Ewood Park.

The 18-year-old has given a good account of himself on the defensive end of the field as he is averaging 2.7 tackles, 2.3 interceptions and 1.4 clearances per game in the Championship this season. However, he needs to improve his accuracy when distributing the ball, as evidenced by his pass success of 72.7% in the second tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

Branthwaite has shown some promising signs during his loan spell with Blackburn, so the Toffees would be unwise to let him go especially when he is maturing into such a good young defender. However, the talented youngster’s current contract at Goodison Park is set to expire at the end of next season, so Carlo Ancelotti has to find a way to tie him down to a new long-term deal if he wants to fend off interest from other clubs in the summer.

Everton defender Branthwaite is on Manchester United's radar (Branthwaite is in action in the picture)
Jarrad Branthwaite of Blackburn Rovers is put under pressure from Jacob Brown of Stoke City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City at Ewood Park on January 16, 2021, in Blackburn, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

What Are The English Whizkid’s Best Attributes?

Branthwaite can use his strong 1.95m frame to win his fair share of aerial duels inside his half. He has transformed himself into a reliable centre-back in the Championship as he has shown great hunger to secure possession back for his side.

The English prospect is also not shy of clearing the danger by putting his foot through the ball when required. However, he still has a lot to learn before he is ready to feature in the Premier League week in week out.

Why The Toffees Need To Keep Hold Of Branthwaite For The Long-Run

Branthwaite has the potential to become a class act in central defence in the future, so the Toffees should prioritise on keeping him at Goodison Park for years to come. At 18, he is a player on the rise and might develop into a future starter under Carlo Ancelotti’s stewardship. With all things considered, the Merseyside club will be better off keeping hold of Branthwaite’s services for the long-run as he could prove to be an invaluable asset for them in the coming seasons.

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