Manchester United are keen on signing Everton's young defender, Jarrad Branthwaite, according to the Daily Mail.
The 19-year-old agreed a new contract with the Blues last December that tied him to the club until 2025 and with injuries and suspensions causing intermittent selection crises in defence this season under Rafael Benitez and Frank Lampard, he has had opportunities to display his talents at first-team level.
Branthwaite's promise, technical and physical prowess and composure despite his tender years has drawn covetous attention from other clubs and Everton's well-publicised financial losses mean that transfer speculation around their biggest stars or most promising young talent is only likely to increase in the coming weeks.
Reader Comments (46)
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1 Posted 17/04/2022 at 12:46:31
Hopefully both Richie and Jarrad see the bigger picture, if there is one, and a future with Everton, and Frank !
2 Posted 17/04/2022 at 13:37:07
3 Posted 17/04/2022 at 15:39:51
Obviously allowing myself to get carried away I have previously compared him to DeLigt.
If he was playing in Netherlands he'd have 50 or more first team appearances by now.
Branthwaite is also one of a relative few top class British youngsters not already at a club of Man Utds wealth bracket. Therefore he's gettable.
Hopefully it's bollocks because Mykolenko, Branthwaite + AN Other and Patterson could be an excellent back 4 for us for the next decade if they perform and we can keep hold of them.
4 Posted 17/04/2022 at 17:36:02
At 19, he is still very young for a centre-back and has time to develop into the kind of top defender we desperately need.
5 Posted 17/04/2022 at 18:47:56
"Hopefully it's bollocks because Mykolenko, Branthwaite + AN Other and Patterson could be an excellent back 4 for us for the next decade if they perform and we can keep hold of them."
Totally agree and having watched a few U-23 games too, hoping defensively that Reece Welch and Ryan Astley can step up to the plate too. We also have Dobbin, Cannon, Simms, Warrington, Whitaker and Onyango as forwards and midfielders. Hopefully a few more young guns can step up, even if bench warmers to start with. Could save us a few bob too!
6 Posted 17/04/2022 at 19:57:29
As Robert has already said, Mykolenko, Branthwaite, AN Other, Patterson is going to become a long-term quality defence. As it beds in, it will get better and better. It will change the look and feel about Everton over the next few years.
Fans should protest somehow if this sale was seriously considered. He's a big part of the future of our club.
7 Posted 17/04/2022 at 20:50:40
We actually bought in 3 cup-tied players in January that have hardly had a kick. What the fuck was the point? Never ends, does it?
8 Posted 17/04/2022 at 21:00:37
I would not be that surprised if both Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were to leave. Though the former will have dropped in value somewhat over the last 12 months. Hopefully we would get around £50-60M for each of them but I'm not sure.
Branthwaite will stay I'd think, it's unlikely anyone would bid enough money to make it worth our time. If only Mina could stay fit, then I think him and Branthwaite could make an excellent centre-back pairing over the next few years.
9 Posted 17/04/2022 at 21:17:46
10 Posted 17/04/2022 at 21:33:49
Cant see anyone coming in for Mina given the wage hes on and his injury record, so think hell stay round and go on a free next year. Whether he manages to play much is another question entirely. The hope would be that someone comes in for Keane and a Holgate, and the money could be used to fund a version of Mina who stays fit and can pass.
11 Posted 17/04/2022 at 00:17:22
The Mail's article, though, just reads as space-filler. It's opening sentence employs the laziest of rumor-mill phrases "are monitoring" and that's it.
Hope we reject all bids and he earns his way into the starting line-up next season.
12 Posted 18/04/2022 at 04:57:03
Brands watching Carlisle? No way!
13 Posted 18/04/2022 at 07:28:17
Otherwise we promote averageness and have players that no-one else wants? That's pretty much where we've been for 30 years bar one or two individuals.
Will @9; what a partnership. The expensive Keane with the even more expensive Keane. All because they were English and had the English mark up price stamped on them. Because of their English-ness, not because of their quality. I didn't see Bayern or Barcelona banging the doors of Turf Moor or the Kingpower to nab them.
14 Posted 19/04/2022 at 08:57:24
We are heading for a new stadium, and we should have a team on the pitch befitting that stadium. I am hoping that:- Richarlison, Branthwaite, Pickford, Godfrey, Keane, Mina, Mykolenko, Patterson, Gordon, Gray, Dobbin, Astley, and Onyango are some of those who will still be with us, and we will add more quality to the squad. Calvert-Lewin is playing like he's been tapped by another club.
The remaining players can go: Delph, Davies, Doucouré, Gomes, Alli, Allan, Kenny, Holgate, Coleman (retired), Townsend. Van de Beek and El Ghazi can go back to their parent clubs.
15 Posted 19/04/2022 at 09:28:33
16 Posted 19/04/2022 at 10:21:37
17 Posted 19/04/2022 at 10:29:55
Over the years many bemoaned us getting United cast offs.
He is. It's just he past through Burnley first and they saw us off to the tune of £30m for the privilege. Great business by them to be fair.
But then United spent £80m on a supposed upgraded version from Leicester?
Funny old game as the saying goes. Especially the price tag attached to English players.
18 Posted 19/04/2022 at 12:04:29
He has all of the raw physical attributes to be a prem player. The main ingredient we don't know about him yet is his decision making. A centre-back role has moved on significantly over the last 15 years. Stopping is the pre-requisite but distribution and decision making are more and more prominent with top teams and their defenders.
The Premier League is a tough place to learn the trade. There aren't many 20-year-olds playing centre-back regularly.
Tricky situation for Lampard re centre-back. Mina is always injured; Holdgate isn't good enough; Godfrey isn't tall enough or good enough on the ball; Keane doesn't have average games. He is either very good or very very poor.
I can see us buying another centre-back and trying to offload a couple of them. Maybe another loan will help develop Branthwaite.
I also think people tend to forget that even top teams defend from the front. You watch how hard the forwards and midfields track back to help defenders out. That doesn't happen much with us.
19 Posted 19/04/2022 at 12:07:57
20 Posted 19/04/2022 at 12:25:44
Defending in the Moyes style (not picking on Moyes by the way) is inviting the law of average inevitable of conceding territory, advantage and more goals than you will score over time. You will not win things that way other than the odd one off.
Successful teams, successful Everton teams, were mostly known and renowned for their forwards and midfielders.
Captains were generally defenders, but we loved our number 9s and attacking players. Sheedy, Sharp and Steven every day, as much as I loved Ratcliffe and Mountfield.
Even across the park, the goalkeeper and centre back were the last pieces in the recent puzzle that brought the prizes. They built from the front and applied a front foot approach.
I won't contradict myself; we need to fix the centre back position. But then we need to fix a lot of other positions. Football in its simplest form is about scoring more goals than you concede. Not setting up to not concede first and try and nick one.
21 Posted 19/04/2022 at 12:38:12
He'd also be helped if we can get a specialist holding midfielder of decent size / aerial ability.
My main issue with Godfrey is maturity / positioning. He could be magnificent if he sorts that out – but he needs coaching and an experienced head to help him. It's the experienced head we need to recruit.
Not sure who that is entirely.
There aren't loads of viable options unfortunately.
22 Posted 19/04/2022 at 13:20:25
Now must people would happily trade Holgate for a portion of chips
23 Posted 19/04/2022 at 13:56:09
He works his bollocks off tracking back, every game. Not bad for Brazil's no 9.
24 Posted 19/04/2022 at 14:51:36
25 Posted 19/04/2022 at 15:55:43
However, Man Utd have enough problems on defence, which Liverpool will expose today, so they wouldn't want either on a free transfer.
26 Posted 19/04/2022 at 16:04:49
The problem midfield Tony talks of means Richarlison (often our most potent attacking threat) is nullified because, as you rightly say Steve, he's always tracking back.
A well balanced midfield 3 should allow Richarlison to stay much higher up the pitch as a goal threat (hate to say it but as per Mane and Salah).
That goal threat pushes the opposition back, meaning both forwards and midfield protect the defence better - allowing the defence to squeeze up.
The key to this is a quality holding midfielder along with two pressers (each of whom must contribute some attacking threat).
Allan is a good presser with pretty much zero attacking contribution. Doucoure is a good presser with some attacking contribution.
Neither is a specialist holding midfielder - like Makalele, Rodri and Fernandinho etc.
So as much as we need a good centre half, we also need a good holding midfielder - complemented by Doucoure and, presumably, one of Iwobi or Alli (unless Alli is written off).
Unfortunately this will only happen by investing the sale proceeds we get for Richarlison - the one player who might benefit most!
27 Posted 19/04/2022 at 16:17:14
I think there is a dearth of specialist holding midfielders. Spurs and Man Utd are reflective of this. In recent years, both have (since Eriksen left Spurs) had issues because on one hand they have very limited industrial midfielders: Fred, McTominay. Dier, Ndombele etc, and a bunch of overtly attacking players. They didn't really have proper midfielders who can do a bit of everything.
28 Posted 19/04/2022 at 16:18:23
Branthwaite has a noticeable calmness when in possession, and his short-passing game off his left side is very good. His longer passing is not something I've seen enough of to comment. There is not one side of his game that I have noticed to be weak – although he seems to be a bit on the quiet side.
His loan at Blackburn last season started well but then he was eventually jettisoned for the Man City loanee Taylor Harwood-Bellis (who is also highly rated); I think Branthwaite is the better player of the two, but I assume Harwood-Bellis was better able to fight for the opportunity at the time.
The comparison with Ben Godfrey is an interesting one. Godfrey has great pace and tenacity, but many of his core skills are lacking. His heading is weak, his short passing is basic and risk-averse, and his long passing is rare and tentative. He lacks composure with the ball at his feet and, other than being able to carry the ball forward in straight lines at pace, he offers very little attacking thrust or imagination.
I think Godfrey can improve many of these areas, but he feels like a bit of a throwback. Branthwaite feels like a very modern defender whose composure on the ball and passing out of defence could be a winning combination.
29 Posted 19/04/2022 at 16:28:27
Mistakes are still happening, but the more people take charge, then Im sure a lot of these mistakes will begin to disappear, so leadership is still the biggest requirement needed imo.
Some good points Andrew, I saw Godfrey playing last man at West Ham a few times during that game, and think this is how he needs to play, to bring out his strengths?
30 Posted 19/04/2022 at 16:43:49
Kieran - because I am deeply sad and also have been bored in bed with Covid, I have looked at options for the holding midfield and centre-back options. I think centre-back is much more tricky than holding midfield because we have such a young inexperienced back 4 if we really are to build around Branthwaite, Patterson and Mykolenko. So we need an experienced head in there who is also capable of squeezing up the pitch.
With holding midfield, there are lots of options – especially if we allow a younger player a season to bed in while Allan, Davies and Doucoure see out their contracts.
31 Posted 19/04/2022 at 16:52:16
Kieran and Robert, a true holding midfielder with all the tools is the second-rarest commodity in football, behind only the pure striker. The ones everybody knows about -- Kante, Bousquets and now Ndidi at Leicester -- are defense-first players who can seamlessly transition into attack.
Two of the best young central defensive midfielders in the world right now are the Americans Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams. I did everything but jump up and down and screamed on TW when Schalke made McKennie available a couple of years ago, but we never had a prayer because he was determined to go to Juventus.
32 Posted 19/04/2022 at 17:19:14
There is something lacking aerially with Godfrey as a centre-back. He's of a height where he needs a good leap to play that position, as well as everything else. Maybe it's in there, maybe not.
33 Posted 19/04/2022 at 17:23:09
I completely agree that we are lacking a classic holding midfielder, or at the least a dynamic holding midfielder who is any good.
Gbamin was heralded as a decent option when he arrived but injuries and loss of confidence quickly arrested that. I know some hold out hope for Tom Davies but I just cannot see him making any meaningful contribution to a successful Everton side.
Delph is clearly unable to play regularly at this stage of his career, but hopefully he can manage a few games between now and the end of the season.
The player I'd like to see us try to unearth would be in the mould of Rodri. For me he is the unsung hero of the Manchester City team, as he does so much of the intelligent cover work that enables players like Cancelo to step into midfield and contribute. He really is the epitome of selfless sacrifice, especially how he closes the spaces around the opposition when they are trying to get out of tight areas.
Rodri is fortunate because he is tall, quick, and strong – so he has those assets to rely on – but really it is his brain that is his biggest strength. And his technique is excellent too. No wonder he cost the money he did!
Uncovering a young player in the mould of Rodri is going to be difficult, but he would be my template; he might not score too many goals or even get into the box very often, but he gives the attacking unit the freedom to express themselves as his instincts to cover are as good as I see anywhere in the game.
34 Posted 19/04/2022 at 17:56:25
I liked Sander Berge a lot because he also had that elegance and intelligence that Rodri has (as well as being a giant) - but haven't seen him play since the bad injury. Not sure if he's still the same player.
Seems fairly unlikely (but not out of the question) that Sheff Utd will be promoted so assume he'll be available and probably for a reasonable price too.
35 Posted 19/04/2022 at 18:10:21
Get better soon mate
36 Posted 19/04/2022 at 18:16:18
Im prepared to give Keane the benefit of the doubt. He has had some bloopers with us, but only when he has been paired with Holgate and sometimes with Godfrey, but he has also had some outstanding games for us i.e. V Man Utd.
37 Posted 19/04/2022 at 18:40:04
I see Florian Grillitisch is available from Hoffenheim on a free, that would be a good signing. However, I can see Frank wanting to buy Gilmour, I'd be happy with that but desperately want him to pull some strings and get Gallagher on loan for the season as well. We'd need to stay up for that and after the season he's had I can see him pushing for a place at Chelsea.
38 Posted 19/04/2022 at 18:44:22
It depends what you want.
Michael Keane isn't it for me. As he wasn't for Manchester United.
39 Posted 20/04/2022 at 10:00:25
I see Mitrovic has scored his 40th of the season for Marco, I know he is considered a bit of a donkey in the Premier League but I wanted us to buy him after I watched him single handedly destroy us in a consummate No 9 performance for Fulham a few years back. I think Marco took note, wishing him every success back in the Premier League next season.
I'm nervous about Leicester tonight, the defence needs to stay compact, hopefully (and I can't believe I'm saying this) Delph is fit and up for it.
40 Posted 20/04/2022 at 15:59:41
As for Grillitsch, I assume he'll get offers from clubs in European competitions in Germany, Italy and Spain. Really good player but probably out of our league, given our lowly current status. He's the sort of player Seville buy, for example.
Gilmour is excellent but a bit like Xavi rather than the Busquets type we really need. Possibly Ethan Ampadu, another Chelsea loanee, could play that role for us. He's now at Venezia on loan after spells at Sheff Utd and Leipzig. Talented player with good physical attributes who might even be available to buy / option to buy given Chelsea's huge squad.
41 Posted 23/04/2022 at 03:09:49
42 Posted 25/04/2022 at 13:16:49
Always impressed me, should have more game time, a real find that could be part of a decent-looking defence for many years to come.
43 Posted 25/04/2022 at 13:51:49
Get Broadhead signed up for the championship year, and hope the likes of Price, Mills, Onyango and Nkounkou can step up too. Mix it with those who arent going to be easy to shift but can offer some experience to add to mix (Doucoure, Iwobi, Gray, Townsend, Rondon, Davies, Holgate, etc)
Should be enough to bounce straight back up…..should. Please God.
44 Posted 25/04/2022 at 14:19:13
in my view, relegation will necessitate sales of anyone and everyone of value, just so we don't avoid a whopping fine for our crazy wage bill...
We will be left to play with the unshiftables, and hope we aren't docked loads of points.
45 Posted 25/04/2022 at 14:57:41
It would be hugely risky to try and use the grace period though, and Id expect that Pickford, Keane, Richarlison, DCL, Dele, Allan, Mina, etc. would all be added to Delph, Tosun, Kenny etc. moving on. We may even get token offers for the likes of Iwobi, Gray, Doucoure, Holgate, etc.
However, I think weve got to take another gamble and refuse to budge on the Branthwaite, Gordon, Godfrey, Mykolenko, Patterson, Simms, Dobbin, etc. at least for 2 years. They are the hope of return, and there has to be a dice rolled to make sure we do. If were selling them too, just wind the club up now…
46 Posted 26/04/2022 at 14:24:40
Both very good, young, English centre backs. Probably get some additional money back for Godfrey, £40M (?) and half that for Branthwaite.
I'd rather see Keane, Holgate, Mina depart (in that order) but who would want them?
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