Branthwaite adds to Ancelotti’s defensive headaches

Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 59comments  |  Jump to last

Everton face an anxious wait to see the extent of the injury that Jarrad Branthwaite sustained in this evening's cup win over Salford City as Carlo Ancelotti admits the club will sign a new centre-back if they can find one.

Branthwaite was included in the starting XI for the second-round tie against the League Two side but had to be withdrawn with an apparent ankle injury after just 24 minutes.

The youngster joins Mason Holgate in the treatment room and leaves Ancelotti with just two fit senior central defenders in Michael Keane and Yerry Mina.

The Italian says that he hopes Holgate, who was ruled out of the first two games of the new season with the toe he injured in the pre-season friendly against Preston, might be able to return earlier than the six-week prognosis he was given over the weekend but there are no guarantees.

“Holgate is out and [with] Jarrad we don't know his injury and how bad it is,” Ancelotti said. “We have to look tomorrow.

“There is a possibility to find a centre-back and I think we have to do so,” the manager admitted, although he wouldn't be drawn on Fikayo Tomori over whom the Blues have recently held talks with Chelsea:

“I am not talking about players that are not here."

“The Holgate update is that he doesn't need the surgery so maybe he can recover earlier than normal but I think we can manage until Mason comes back with three centre-backs, no problem.”


Reader Comments (59)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 17/09/2020 at 01:29:49
I couldn't watch the game. Followed it on the Forum.

I'm understanding that Jarrad walked off.

Will Mabon
2 Posted 17/09/2020 at 01:44:58
He walked off, James, but looked in a lot of pain when he went down, from what seemed a nothing incident. I hope not, but it had the look of an achilles problem. Find out tomorrow I guess.
Bill Gienapp
3 Posted 17/09/2020 at 01:45:54
The Tomori loan makes a lot of sense. Hopefully we can still get that over the line.
Will Mabon
4 Posted 17/09/2020 at 01:52:03
I thought if we could get Mina more resilient that we'd be set with four, with Branthwaite developing. Suddenly, we are short, so there seems no choice but to get someone in.
Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 17/09/2020 at 02:16:41
Lost in translation. Do you need to buy a centre-back? “I think we need to do so.”

“I think we can manage with three until Mason comes back.”

So the window closes in two weeks during which time we need to buy a centre-back. But we don't really need him until Mason comes back. So we need him after Mason is back?

Bob Parrington
6 Posted 17/09/2020 at 03:22:49
Or the short version, "Regardless, we need another CD".
Jay Harris
7 Posted 17/09/2020 at 04:14:31
IT looked to me like he got his foot stuck and tweaked his ankle ligaments. That s why they subbed him straight away.

If it is ankle ligaments he could be out for around 6 weeks, maybe sooner if its only mild.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 17/09/2020 at 04:46:49

We definitely need a new CD. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet maybe?

Paul Melling
9 Posted 17/09/2020 at 05:39:14
Unfortunately the injury suffered by Branthwaite looked to me like an achilles strain. I hope that I am wrong. However, the fact that the physios let him walk off could actually be good news.
David Ellis
10 Posted 17/09/2020 at 06:35:22
Kieran and Bob - surely Dark Side of the Moon would be more apt for the Everton CD collection
Dan Nulty
11 Posted 17/09/2020 at 07:13:42
I think Carlo means we can cope with three CB until Mason gets back if we get someone else in quickly. Otherwise we only have two.

Have to loan someone and quickly.

Christy Ring
12 Posted 17/09/2020 at 08:05:19
Hopefully when he was able to walk off the field, it might not be that serious. As for Holgate, he said, he doesn't need an operation. I know there's no comparison, remember Gbamin's thigh injury, they said he didn't need an operation, 8 weeks later, they operated.
Ajay Gopal
13 Posted 17/09/2020 at 08:40:55
So, Gibson does not figure in Carlo's plans? Meaning he will be loaned out or sold? I thought Gibson was considered a very shrewd signing at the time and another highly rated young CB - future 'England material' and all that. By most accounts on TW, he had a good season on loan last year, and played well in the 2 pre-season matches. I guess Carlo nows best, but would like to see him given a chance next week against Fleetwood.
Richard Mason
14 Posted 17/09/2020 at 08:45:08
I agree Ajay, anytime I see Gibson I think he is an excellent player, calm and composed.

I don't know what the story is there

Hugh Jenkins
15 Posted 17/09/2020 at 09:53:33
I too have been wondering what the story is with Gibson?

He just seems to have dropped off the radar entirely.

Kevin Prytherch
16 Posted 17/09/2020 at 10:04:58
Regarding Gibson, it could just be the fact that it was a toss-up between Branthwaite and Gibson last night, but Carlo wanted experience on the bench. He likely thought that, if Keane had to come off, he didn't want 2 inexperienced centre-backs together. Hence the reason Digne was on the bench.
Derek Knox
17 Posted 17/09/2020 at 10:20:02
I must admit I was a bit surprised last night, not only by Branthwaite's inclusion but the fact that Lewis Gibson was, neither considered or even on the bench.

I really like the lad and from what I've seen both in reserves (U-23's) and on loan to Fleetwood, he deserves a chance. I think if he is loaned out again he may want to move away permanently, which in my eyes would be a travesty.

I'm not saying for one minute, I am a better judge than Carlo, but Lewis offers a lot more than others who have been given numerous chances and yet seem to be untouchable/undroppable.

Tommy Carter
18 Posted 17/09/2020 at 10:46:22
I’m no expert but it didn’t look good. Ruptured Achilles or he’s popped his calf (torn). Hopefully it’s nothing as serious. If it is then you do have to question the decision to walk him off.

Re Holgate and Branthwaite. There was a lot of relief around this time last year when it was revealed that JP Gbamin wouldn’t require surgery.

With breaks of bones and ligament damage, decisions on whether to operate are fairly straight forward. Less so with muscular injuries.

A really bad muscle tear can seriously mess up the limb in question unless the rehab is 100% perfect. If it’s not then the risk of injury is high and usually with a disastrous outcome.

Tony Everan
19 Posted 17/09/2020 at 10:54:07

Good luck to Jarrad with his rehab.hope he is back in action in a month or two.

We need a CB in sooner rather than later. Remember the Rojo fiasco last summer when we were convinced we were signing Zouma? This needs to be sorted now, we have Keane and Mina fit and Carlo after last nights omission mustn’t think Gibson is ready for the first 11 . Mina could get an injury at any time, it’s like Russian roulette with him each game and training session. He’s a good player, but one we need back up for.

The Gabriel pursuit has echoes of the Zouma pursuit but I hope we have learned our lesson. Especially as we have had a month to sort it. There’s no point in pursuing Tomori if Chelsea won’t play ball again, ( I think they want guaranteed game time and no option to buy ), it’s wasting valuable time.

Failing to get someone in could harm momentum if there is one more injury. Find a suitable alternative within a week. There’s got to be two or three decent options out there ?

Phill Thompson
20 Posted 17/09/2020 at 11:59:18
I’d be tempted to stick with Gibson for now, he’s a decent left sided player who could fill in particularly with some coaching from Carlo. And we have that extra period after the transfer window shuts loan him out to the EFL.
If we don’t get Tomori I hope we don’t rush out and get a 3rd best, yes I’m sure there are CBs available but they need to fit the profile or at least add depth to the position. Last season we went after Zaha and ended up with Iwobi let’s not just get anyone in just for the sake of it when we have 3 experienced CB s and 2 promising youngsters.
Kieran Kinsella
21 Posted 17/09/2020 at 14:05:22
I feel some sympathy for Pennington. Not suggesting he’s the answer but he’s what 25 now? Four years ago he was part of the match day squad and now it’s as if he doesn’t even exist as a consideration
Minik Hansen
22 Posted 17/09/2020 at 14:05:24
Ivanovic, here we go.
Kieran Kinsella
23 Posted 17/09/2020 at 14:06:21

Didn’t Ivanovic just join WBA?

Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 17/09/2020 at 14:08:02
Phil I agree with you 100%. I'd not panic buy, hope Mina stays healthy, and give Gibson a chance if comes to that.

We've squandered far too much money. It's not my money, so thank God for that, but I am concerned with Everton's financial well-being.

We spent 25 million on Iwobe, 25 million on Cenk, 8 million on Delph, and those three can't / wouldn't even crack our League Cup starting 11. That's 58 million wasted English pounds right there! Insane. Toss in 35 million for what looks like a dodgy "will he make it" scenario with Kean, and we're approaching 100 million out the door.

We have to show some fiscal responsibility.

To put it into perspective and make everyone really sick to their stomachs, Donald Trump would be an Everton fan if he were into the footy. He adores reckless spending!

Stick with Gibson for the very, very short term for me.

Martin Reppion
25 Posted 17/09/2020 at 14:25:30
With games every 3 or 4 days to get the season up to speed and hopefully 2 good cup runs 3 fit 'senior' centre backs and cover from the u-23s is a must.
With Holgate, Branthwaite and almost certainly Mina at some point unavailable we are short in this area of the field. If everyone was fit we could think we have a glut of CBs. But add a few suspensions the need for a loan cover at least is obvious.
I think if we can get a decent player on loan till January it would be the perfect solution. At that point we could reassess our options.
My worry is that Tomori appears to be the favourite to come in. I've only seen him on 3 or 4 occasions but I am not surprised that he is way down the pecking order at Chelsea. He has pace and some natural talent, but little playing sense yet leading to mistakes. The main benefit of him being on loan will be for him to make his mistakes and take the improvement (if he learns) from that back to Chelsea.
Luckily for me it isn't my decision.
Robert Tressell
26 Posted 17/09/2020 at 15:13:54
I assume the plan is get Gibson 30 / 40 games at Championship level so that he's 'oven ready' (to adopt a horrible phrase) for 2021/ 22 season.

Tomori, being a bit more experienced, or AN Other fills the gap this season.

Branthwaite was clearly lined up to fill in at first team level as he did last season. But all depends on the injury.

Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 17/09/2020 at 15:26:16
If Branthwaite had ruptured his Achilles, he couldn't have walked off, but a smaller tear or strain could still keep him out for a long time. Likewise a calf strain. I hope the news isn't too bad.

From last summer's Rojo/Zouma misadventures right through to this year, I have always opposed spending money on a C-B, and I have no idea if a quality loan is available, but Carlo seems to think one or the other is necessary. Like the rest of you, I'm mystified by the lack of even a mention of Gibson. Can't figure out what's happening there. But if he's not in the picture for some reason, a loan of Tomori -- a loan, not a buy -- might make sense.

Kieran mentions that we do have another experienced CB on board in Pennington, but I doubt he'll be considered for anything except extreme emergencies. Pennington played for Hull this summer during their final spiral down to relegation, and was at right back when they gave up 7 first-half goals to Wigan (3 by Dowell). I thought he was decent for us three years ago. No idea now.

Tough question. Glad Carlo's making the decisions, not me.

John Pierce
28 Posted 17/09/2020 at 15:30:18
Its time for Brands to step up. He failed to land a CB last year and we somehow squeaked through the season without any major injuries carrying three senior players. However it was touch and go at points.

It all points to a loan, the rumors are 12weeks for Holgate? That changes things and because he’s our best centre back we need to get similar styled player not only to bulk the numbers out but not to rush him back.

So on that prognosis I think it’s possible we buy and get a loan too, because I have zero evidence Mina won’t get another soft tissue injury. We are asking for trouble if we don’t get this sorted quickly.

Pete Williams
29 Posted 17/09/2020 at 15:48:41
I don't get why there seems to be a panic on. We've got Gibson, who seems highly rated, Pennington is still around and no-one has mentioned Callum Connolly who was at Fleetwood with Gibson. If we try to sign anyone good players will only come if they can be in the first team and any good loan options will have already been picked up. Better to make do with what we've got? Juan Foyth could be an option though?
Gerard Pauls
30 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:03:45
Always thought watching Watford that Doucoure would make a good ball playing centre back. Tall, good tackler, heads the ball well, reads the game and can make telling passed as well as getting around the park with ease. I know it's only an idea but I'm sure with a little coaching and practice that he could be an outstanding centre half if called upon.
Mike Gaynes
31 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:14:44
Pete #29, Connolly has played only a few games at CB, and never above League 1 level.

Gerard #30, maybe he could, but he's never played the position in his career.

Also, I'm sure Carlo could put either Seamus or Digne in the middle for a game or two if necessary (I remember Hibbo doing a fine job there in similar circumstances).

Jay Harris
32 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:15:43
Im pretty certain it was just a strain of the ankle ligaments and is not too serious but he still could be out for up to 6 weeks.

CB position is one where experience counts for a lot which may explain why CArlo is not keen to rely on Gibson this season.

It seems we are being linked with young city CB Tosin Adarabioyo who I don't know anything about but IMO falls into the same category as Gibson.

There was also a link to an Italian CB called Dremell I believe but this rumour hasnt gained any coverage.

Kevin Prytherch
33 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:41:30
We could always use Rhino for a game or 2. I’m sure he’s not lost any of his pace...
Pete Williams
34 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:50:52
Jay #32, Adarabioyo played 34 times last season for Blackburn in the Championship so is more 'oven ready' than any of our youngsters. Might be a cheap option?

I agree with Mike #31 that Seamus or Luca would also be options, but neither are good in the air, so a proper CB would be best, if we can get one in 2 weeks! As I said Juan Foyth is surplus at Spurs.

Frank Crewe
35 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:54:50
What about loaning John Stones for a season?
Tommy Carter
36 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:55:15
@ Jamie 24

Jamie I thoroughly agree. I don’t want us spending fortunes on anybody except a guaranteed improvement on Holgate, Keane and Mina.

Those 3 supplemented by Branthwaite will do us I think so let’s see how they get on with a greater defensive shield in front of them. And better players who can keep the ball.

That leaves the problem of the injuries. Unsure if Gibson will be ready. A thought obviously shared by Ancelotti.

We still have Besic somewhere on our books don’t we. He has played Centre Back before. Surely next to 6’3 + centre backs he could do a job for us there as a stop gap?

Tomori is not for me at all. I’d prefer Ancelotti to identify and attract a top Italian centre back as a long term option. As a short term option I look at Rojo and think that could be a loan deal that would work for us.

Tony Everan
37 Posted 17/09/2020 at 16:56:35
We have lost Branthwaite, but we don’t need back up at Centre Back at all.

We still have ;

and Branflakes

They have yet to be spotted at finch farm but much has been written about them on these pages as being the next big things.

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 17/09/2020 at 17:15:56
My thoughts :

- Besic, Pennington and Connolly are not the answer. Nice lads, but not for the premier league

- Adarabioyo is 22 and much more experienced than Gibson. He played with Holgate on loan at WBA then a full season with Blackburn. He's a good player. He's also about 6 ft 6 but quite agile and fast. He's English but qualifies for Nigeria and seems to want a step up to get international recognition / World Cup chance. Clubs in England and Germany are interested. Final year of contract so mayne about £7m.

- Bremer, the Brazilian at Torino, is 23. He doesn't seem to be highly courted and I don't know much about him.

Tony Everan
39 Posted 17/09/2020 at 17:18:31
Some good news:

Carlo gave an update on Holgate while talking to the Evening Standard. He said he doesn't need surgery so hopefully he can recover sooner than was feared.

Jay Harris
40 Posted 17/09/2020 at 17:39:15
Thanks for that feedback, I didnt know much about him but he sounds preferrable to Tomori.

Robert you got it in one. I was thinking his name was Dremell not Bremer so I couldnt find a link to him.

Im still of the opinion we need an old head at the back, wonder if we could loan Jags back for a few games.

Alan J Thompson
41 Posted 17/09/2020 at 17:58:27
If it comes to the worst couldn't Holgate borrow Keane's barely used size 12 boot? Funny how in no time at all we've gone from three senior and two promising junior centre backs to two and one, has Delph ever played there?
Ajay Gopal
42 Posted 17/09/2020 at 18:33:19
The new lad Nkounkou looks a physical specimen and given his speed and power and being left footed, may be able to do a CB’s job if called upon.
Daniel A Johnson
43 Posted 17/09/2020 at 18:38:20
Alan 41: Has Delph ever played anywhere?
Robert Tressell
44 Posted 17/09/2020 at 20:13:57
Hopefully Holgate will come through. Carlo seems to have coached some confidence back into the centre halves. Keane looking like an England player again. And Holgate is certainly international class
Sam Hoare
45 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:00:19
Aderabiayo would do for me. Cheap, quick, powerful and lots of experience in the championship. If you could get him for £5-7m then he looks like he has the basic skill set to be a good back up and maybe even more if he develops.
Tony Everan
46 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:20:11
It's hard to have a confident opinion of Tomori, Aderabioyo or Bremer. The fact that the signing is a back up may sway it, as Tomori and Bremer will want to be picked and play if they are to move. They'll want a guarantee of sorts. They may get a cast-iron guarantee that they will be a starter elsewhere.

From the little I have seen, I would choose Tomori out of those three. He looks strong mobile and quick and ready to step in. I see him as a very raw hybrid of his teammates Ruttiger and Zouma. The downside would be for him to be a big success then having to send him back.

I want us to loan him and reluctantly accept a way bigger than normal option to buy. That way at least we have an option to make it permanent and avoid going back to square one at the next window.

John Pierce
47 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:29:16
I'd still be looking for ball playing options, ideally quick ones. It's so integral to the way we play.

We simply cannot play Mina & Keane for a number of games together without dropping deep and affecting our forward players. For me whoever we get will play if they have pace and or ball skills.

I'd still, despite the damage, look to Stones on loan.

Karen Mason
48 Posted 17/09/2020 at 22:44:01
Daniel @43
That's funny and my thoughts exactly.
Sam Hoare
49 Posted 17/09/2020 at 23:04:32
JP@47, I think perhaps the need for ball-playing centre-backs has diminished a little as we hopefully now have a midfield who want and care for the ball a little better.

I think Mina and Holgate are decent at passing through the lines and though I wouldn't say no to a defender who can pass to I'd say a bit of pace and defending nous are more important. Not sure how well Stones fits those criteria though if he were available on loan he could be a very decent stopgap.

Len Hawkins
50 Posted 18/09/2020 at 09:09:56
Jay #32

I would imagine Dremmell knows the drill.

Frank Wade
51 Posted 18/09/2020 at 10:46:36
I think Jonjoe Kenny has played centre back at times in the Academy, a bit small for the Premier League but could be a useful emergency option.
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 18/09/2020 at 11:14:17
Sam (49), I agree with your point, that the need for a ball playing centre half has diminished a little, nevertheless a centre back who can read the game and is aware of his position when defending is essential, one who can organise as well would be preferable.
Jamie Crowley
53 Posted 18/09/2020 at 13:24:45
Any update on Branthwaite? How do we not know yet how long he'll be out? Does Carlo have a presser today where we might get an update?
Alan Rodgers
54 Posted 18/09/2020 at 13:32:47
Jamie @53 The Echo reporting just a month out.
Alan Rodgers
55 Posted 18/09/2020 at 13:51:25
Carlo says at least 3 to 5 weeks out for Branthwaite and 2 or 3 months for Holgate. We need a new CB pronto.
Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 18/09/2020 at 14:33:06
Alan (55), Alan we needed another centre back before the bad news of these two injuries.
Jay Harris
57 Posted 18/09/2020 at 14:39:55
Len, LOL.
Chris Taggart
58 Posted 18/09/2020 at 14:42:08
That doesn't sound too bad for young Branthwaite.I was fearing the worst after watching replay of the incident. I am glad for him as I have been very impressed with all of his performances so far.
Colin Glassar
59 Posted 18/09/2020 at 19:22:19
Let’s get Sergio Ramos in on loan!

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