Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite is at his best under Sean Dyche and Premier League clubs have started to notice.
Toffees centre-back 21 has now played in all seven of their last league matches, having been on the bench during the first two.
We take a closer look at Everton’s talented number 32 as they prepare for their Sunday match against West Ham.
Safety nets: How to create them
Branthwaite’s dominating defensive displays at the top of the league are well-documented, leading to speculation regarding his future.
Everton has responded by giving their defensive giant a contract that will last until 2027.
According to reports, the club has now established a powerful bargaining position. They will demand up to PS60million for their prized talent to leave.
Branthwaite, who was born and raised in Carlisle and is a native of the city, has proved to be an excellent bargain at only PS1m. His hometown club will hope to reap the benefits from the reported clause to sell on his services in the future.
The Earning of his Stripes
Branthwaite was praised by Jurgen Klopp, despite conceding two goals in the Merseyside Derby.
It was no surprise to hear the German coach praise the centre-back after he made eight clearances (three interceptions), two tackles, and blocked one goal.
“[Everton]’s] final line is super experienced, with Branthwaite a good centre-half on the left.”
John Aldridge is a former Liverpool defender who urged Branthwaite to be signed by the club.
He added: “I do not want to offend any Evertonians, and it is unlikely that Liverpool will buy Everton, but he has the potential to become an important player and starter for England.”
Set the pace
Everton has been unlucky to have won only two matches out of nine so far.
Branthwaite is setting the pace in Merseyside. He was instrumental in his team’s only clean sheet at Bournemouth.
Cumbrian is the Toffees’ player with the most headed clearances (17). He also has the highest number of possessions in the defensive area (31).
Everton must keep hold of the 21-year old for as long they can to maximize their survival chances.
Take one step at a Time
Branthwaite, who is part of Everton’s first team squad, says he would not mind continuing to contribute to the club.
The England Under-21s player said after signing his contract: “I’ve always felt connected to the club since I started.” I’ve been treated really well by the fans.
The cheers I received when my name is read out gave me a huge confidence boost to play my best.
Signing this contract shows my commitment to the club, and how important it is to me that I play for Everton.
Branthwaite will help the Toffees to gain more ground on their opponents by beating West Ham at this weekend.