Date: 5th July 2020 at 6:11pm
Written by: Dwayne Gavan

Everton confirm that Jarrad Branthwaite has signed a new deal until 2023 as reward for his progress made in the last six months. The 18-year-old has moved into the first-team matchday squad since football returned in England and could be handed his debut before the season comes to a close.

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Branthwaite joined for £1m from Carlisle United in January 2020 and has gone in to make two appearances for the U23s. He finds behind Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate in the pecking order and may have to compete with Lewis Gibson for opportunities next season, but Carlo Ancelotti is clearly impressed with what he’s seen from the Englishman so far.

The 18-year-old said: “I’ve come a long way from playing for Carlisle in the first half of the season, and now being here at a massive club like Everton and working under one of the best managers in the world. I’ve settled in really well so far. I thought it was going to be quite difficult moving away from home but everyone at the Club has helped me feel comfortable.

“Training with the first team has been a great experience. I’m enjoying it. The likes of Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman have given me a lot of advice. Throughout the training sessions, they give me little tips on where I can improve. Everyone’s been very good with me, though. I’ve been looking at what the other players do and trying to implement certain parts into my game, so I can be the best player I can be. I’ll keep striving to do better.”

Ancelotti named Branthwaite in the squad for Everton’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool (June 21), 1-0 win over Norwich City (June 24) and 2-1 win over Leicester City (July 1), but he hasn’t introduced him from the bench yet. With Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams being released last summer while Matthew Pennington was loaned out, Everton need another centre-back to accompany Mina, Keane and Holgate.

There’s a chance Gibson might be loaned out to get experience next season, so Branthwaite could be an important player.

Read Crippy Cooke’s previous article


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