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Everton considering a loan spell at Blackburn for Jarrad Branthwaite

Tuesday, 05 January 2021 33comments  |  Jump to last
Since the acquisition of Ben Godfrey and his effective assimilation into Everton's first-team squad, a loan spell is now being considered for Jarrad Branthwaite.

Blackburn Rovers are thought to be a good candidate for the young defender who has only been with the club for a year. Branthwaite joined Everton from Carlisle Inited as a very promising 17-year-old centre-back, expected to progress and develop further with David Unsworth's Under-23s side.

But Carlo Ancelotti was forced to promote Branthwaite to first-team duty toward the end of last season after a series of injuries to key defenders. Branthwaite performed impressively in his four Premier League appearances and started the Carabao Cup win over Salford City earlier in the campaign.

However, Branthwaite was forced off with an ankle injury after just 24 minutes of that cup-tie back in September and his recovery kept him sidelined until November, when he started playing for the U23s again.

With him regaining fitness, and a return to the senior squad considered unlikely, a loan to Blackburn Rovers, who are mid-table in the Championship, is thought to be the best path for the short-term advancement of his football career. However, the current situation with the Covid pandemic and financial constraints affecting all clubs could stymie any loan deal.

Reader Comments (33)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 05/01/2021 at 11:04:37
It's the rigidity of thinking that surprises me with rumours like this. Branthwaite did commit a couple of errors but I thought, on the whole, he looked to be a pretty good prospect last season.

Then, he has absolutely horrible luck in his first outing of the new season, picking up this ankle injury. I'm sure it's that loss which is the catalyst for Everton completing the deal to get Ben Godfrey from Norwich but these things usually have a long lead time, so I don't doubt he was on the radar screen already.

The real pity, to my mind, is that Branthwaite now has, through no fault of his own but the accidental injury, an impossible task to get back into first-team contention and is instead to be farmed out on loan to the Championship.

I understand the reasoning, I just think keeping him in the squad and creating real competition amongst the players is much better than yet another one of these bloody loan deals, which so very rarely pan out in terms of player development.

Will Mabon
2 Posted 05/01/2021 at 11:23:42
I agree, Michael. Business is business I guess, however small. The "Keep fit and playing" angle has merit in many situations, too. However, there surely is the loss of keeping current within the home squad, loss of camaraderie, and the competition as you mention. It's also not like the guy is way short of "Development" either, to have got to where he was, and played well, so this seems a little unnecessary.

No passengers nowadays. Hope this isn't the kiss of death for him.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 05/01/2021 at 11:29:32
The lad needs experience, a decent Championship club will be a good stepping stone for him. It will toughen him up and keep his development ticking along. It’s possible there’s a semblance of a strategy that at some point Yerry will be sold and Branthwaite will have the necessary experience and toughness to step and make his claim. Especially if there’s an injury, but who knows, in a season or two’s time he may have a stellar preseason and force his way in as a starter.
Allen Rodgers
4 Posted 05/01/2021 at 11:31:36
I'd rather have him playing than sitting on the bench. Blackburn are doing ok in the Championship and a short loan spell would be of benefit all round.
Ajay Gopal
5 Posted 05/01/2021 at 11:40:05
I agree, Tony. There could be a strategy to cash in on Mina in a year or 2 - I have never been convinced by his gangly style, and he has made quite a few blunders resulting in goals this season (the Salah goal for Liverpool and the recent one against West Ham spring to mind). Branthwaite looked very assured last season, so a half season loan to a Championship club would help his development. Having said that, Gibson's loan to Reading has not worked out particularly well plus he has been sidelined by an injury. He is also reportedly very good. 5 English CBs in the team (not counting Pennington) is pretty impressive.
John Davies
6 Posted 05/01/2021 at 11:51:39
Agree with the other posters who say it's better he plays at Blackburn than sits on the bench or gets stuck with David Unsworth's Old Boys Club.
He looks like a lad with a real future but he'll learn nothing under those guys and will become yet another youngster with massive potential who disappeared under their so called tutorage.
Phill Thompson
7 Posted 05/01/2021 at 12:47:34
Blackburn look to be a good fit, they’re in need of a centre back because of injuries, and he’s capable of establishing himself in the first team of a mid table Championship club. Tony Mowbray is decent, experienced manager to help his development and Branthwaite’s got the physical attributes to more than hold his own in a tough league.
As ever with these loans there is an element of risk. A bad game or crucial mistake and suddenly he’s out of the team in favour of an experienced centre back returning from injury. A few more losses, Blackburn in a relegation fight, Mowbray sacked, new manager needs experienced defenders and it’s all gone pear shaped - as we’ve seen for other loans.
So a risk, but Branthwaite looks to be such a great prospect I think he’d thrive with 5 months of Championship football.
Andrew Ellams
8 Posted 05/01/2021 at 13:14:16
He's only 18 and needs more development time.

He did well when he got his chance last season but it was probably a decision forced on Carlo a bit too early in Jarrad's career. Remember Brendan Galloway? This needs to be managed better than that was.

Peter Mills
9 Posted 05/01/2021 at 13:36:18
It seems a very sensible idea to me. The Championship is a very decent standard, if Jarrad can further develop his game at that level it will be all the better for him and for us.
Steavey Buckley
10 Posted 05/01/2021 at 13:41:07
Holgate's best position is not as a centre back, while Godfrey has been superb at left back. That leaves Everton with only 2 quality centre backs.

Branthwaite is not coming in from the under 23s unproven but as a proven quality centre back standing 6' 4" tall who makes defending look relatively easy with 2 good feet when he carries the ball out of the defence.

Loaning him out makes no sense when finding another player of his quality would be difficult, because how many managers give away their best players at this time of year with the virus swirling all around Europe?

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 05/01/2021 at 13:43:59
If these youngsters can't be improved by the Everton coaching staff then perhaps we need to look to improve the coaches and I have to agree with Michael(#1), not too many seem to come back showing that much improvement.

Still, four keepers, masses of central defenders and almost a team of midfielders, there must be a plan in there somewhere. I suppose moving young kids around a couple of times a year has some affect but is it beneficial? If he has to be loaned to somebody then why not Carlisle which, I assume, is where his family are.

Sam Hoare
12 Posted 05/01/2021 at 13:58:37
Makes sense to me. I watched the U23s a few times recently and Branthwaite stood out as the exceptional talent. He won't learn much playing for them.

I think the ideal is that he goes to Blackburn and starts every game doing well there.

Then this summer either Ancelotti thinks he is ready or (more likely) he gets another loan to a top Championship team or a low premiership team that wants its defenders to pass. His passing and dribbling out of defense will become one of his best assets I think.

After that he would still only be 20 and will be more ready to partner one of Holgate/Godfrey who will have hopefully developed into top class CB's.

18-21 is a crucial period for youngsters to learn in and if he can get a loan to a lower team where he will play competitive first team football every week I think that will be better for him in the long run.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 05/01/2021 at 14:16:06
Sam (12), some very good points there Sam, Jarred looked absolutely bored stiff playing for the U23’s recently, just coasted through the game, so he needs more than that, Tony Mowbray was a good centre back himself so could be in good hands there, Jarred looks a bit special and I hope Everton look after him and provide the care and attention he needs.
Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 05/01/2021 at 15:45:41
Ideal situation for the young man -- a few months of Championship battles will season him quickly, and he couldn't ask for a better teacher than Mowbray. This is a great way to start finding out whether he's our future at the back.

Phill's right about the potential downside, but to me the greater risk is that he gets bored and stagnant without a sufficient challenge while four solid CBs play ahead of him at Goodison.

Ajay Gopal
15 Posted 05/01/2021 at 15:55:52
On the other hand, I heard that a little football club in Liverpool is looking for defensive reinforcements. How about loaning Jarred to them for the rest of the season? :-)

But seriously, has there ever been movement across the park in terms of short term loans?
Thomas Richards
16 Posted 05/01/2021 at 16:01:10
Dave #13

I agree, he looks a bit special to me as well.
The strength out of him in the first team was unreal for a young man.
Big centre forwards were being knocked over the touchline when running shoulder to shoulder. Calm on the ball. Plenty of aggression.
Got a very big chance this lad.

Mike#14
I agree.
Just what he needs at this point of his development.

Derek Knox
17 Posted 05/01/2021 at 16:32:06
This can only be of mutual benefit to all three parties, as some have said the Championship is a decent standard so gives good experience to the lad. Blackburn will get temporarily, a decent defender, and with our defence at the moment his chance of getting off the bench will, barring injuries, be severely limited. Hopefully he will return a better player, with more experience, and I don't say that he was a bad player before injury, but still learning his trade.
Jason Wilkinson
18 Posted 05/01/2021 at 16:52:03
It amuses me to read some of the posts on here. After a poor run of results most question the manager & playing staff. The outcome of such debate usually concludes that we should play young unproven players. My gut feeling is he will show Ancelotti was right and there are aspects to his game that need improvement.
If Branthwaite or any other young player were good enough they would be getting game time. The reality is they are not showing enough to oust the players who are in their position. Gordon was given an opportunity at Sheff U. He didnt look ready to me. A loan move to a club that will chuck him in at the deep end seems sensible to me. It is a chance for the lad to show Ancelotti he was wrong.
Thomas Richards
19 Posted 05/01/2021 at 16:52:59
Alan J.

Hes a big lad now, he doesn't need his mum

Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 05/01/2021 at 17:33:39
Jason(#18); He was getting game time before his injury.

Thomas(#19); So you have insight into his cooking skills and how to amuse himself either in a flat or lodgings? He's just turned 18 and will be moving for the second time in less than a year, or do you suppose he has an entourage that moves with him? We are not dealing with a product.

Thomas Richards
21 Posted 05/01/2021 at 17:54:29
I do Alan.

He knocks up a mean pan of scouse.
Errr unless his mother moved into his lodgings with him in Liverpool and she made it.

Martin Berry
22 Posted 05/01/2021 at 19:54:03
Going out on loan in a tough league will be the making of him.

This lad potentially has it all, and in few years time could be a regular England international and one of the best central defenders in the Premier League. Absolutely massive potential.

Justin Doone
23 Posted 05/01/2021 at 22:50:00
Starting with a negative, probably his only: he's a little slow, ie, lacks pace and agility.

But he has looked awesome playing for us last season but he would need a speedy defensive partner, ie, Godfrey.

Probably the nearest defender I've seen to him is John Terry. For someone so young and relatively inexperienced, he did look like the bee's knees.

I would normally say he's got another 3 or 4 years to learn his trade before Premier League football and there's no need to rush him but I actually think he could step in to cover now.

He's a nailed-on Burnley type player. Sean Dyche and Sam Allardyce would love him.

Yes, he needs real game time to keep learning and developing but I'd keep him to play FA Cup games and rotate with Keane and Mina in the league.

But if he can get more game time on loan and stay injury-free (which for a big teenager is very important) I understand the logic. I look forward to seeing him play.

Don Alexander
24 Posted 05/01/2021 at 22:59:34
Justin, Calvert-Lewin was recently quoted as saying that this lad, with Godfrey, is the quickest in the entire squad from what he sees at Finch Farm.
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 05/01/2021 at 23:02:05
Jason (18), yes, of course there are aspects of his game that needs improvement, especially the fact that he is still only 18, do you think that Mina at 24 or Keane at 26 don't have aspects of their game that could be improved, and plenty of aspects at that!!!
Justin Doone
26 Posted 05/01/2021 at 00:03:14
Ha, I'm not having Branthwaite as one of the quickest players at Finch Farm unless it's over 200 yards or a general knowledge quiz. Maybe a lack of acceleration over 10 yards or having to U-turn is more the point.

My own eyes tell me he would get outpaced by half the squad over 10 yards, especially chasing a ball in the penalty box without fouling, which in this day means without contact or the defender's penalised.

Mina is quick once he gets going 20, 30 yards into a sprint but in that distance and time the forwards have gone past him and are usually celebrating before he can put a tackle in.

Alan J Thompson
27 Posted 06/01/2021 at 03:53:52
Thomas (#21); You left "honest" out of that one.
Michael Kenrick
28 Posted 06/01/2021 at 12:19:18
This piece in Yorkshire Live, which claims the same incestuous journalistic credentials as the Red Echo, suggests that Jarrad Branthwaite has also been linked with a potential loan move to managerless Sheffield Wednesday.

I see the bog-standard supposed benefits of loan moves are being spouted by rote above. Please take the time also to list those Everton players who have demonstrably benefitted from this system – and then perhaps contrast that with those who haven't? No time limit.

Peter Mills
29 Posted 06/01/2021 at 14:49:22
Michael #28,

There is no guarantee that a loan spell will improve a player, but it will test their mettle and may develop their game.

The two most obvious examples that spring to my mind where a loan has been beneficial are Seamus Coleman and Leon Osman.

A number of other players have gone out and found their level. Better to do that in the Championship with another team than take a battering in the Premier League.

Thomas Richards
30 Posted 06/01/2021 at 15:53:29
No guarantee either way with a loan.
Works for some doesnt for others.
I am a fan of the loan system in general.
Better to play for Everton under age groups or to gain match experience in a higher standard?
The latter every time for me.

Leyton Orient
Millwall
Leicester
Norwich City.

All four clubs had this Premier League superstar on loan as a young man

Robert Tressell
31 Posted 06/01/2021 at 18:18:11
Branthwaite is a top class talent. The U-23s is too comfortable for him. Championship would be good - or even a foreign league.

We don't have an especially good track record with loans / development but there's nothing wrong with the concept. Look at Mount, Abraham, James and Tomori at Chelsea. All now first team regulars after stints in the Championship.

Brian Murray
32 Posted 07/01/2021 at 11:27:13
Ajay post 15. Well we gave them a long term lease on that piggery loft conversion. Does that count albeit over 100 years ago ?
Ricky Oak
33 Posted 08/01/2021 at 00:15:29
Keep him, only loan him to another Premier League team with guarantee so many starts. Keep the class, dump the not-so-class.

Play him now and again if he's good enough, he's old enough. How many times do you hear about players that are 18 or 19 in other top teams? Plenty.

Let's get a decent core group together, maybe call it a squad?


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