·8 December 2023
·8 December 2023
Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite has been a crucial figure in Sean Dyche’s side amid all the behind-the-scenes confusion, and with interest in his signature rising, transfer insider Dean Jones has revealed, in an interview with GIVEMESPORT, how much they may value the 21-year-old at.
While the Toffees may have been deducted 10 points, Branthwaite’s emergence as one of the Premier League’s brightest prospects has been their beacon of hope throughout.
The Carlisle-born defender, who has featured six times for England’s Under-21 set up, has played 14 times for them across all competitions so far, further spotlighting his importance to Dyche and his entourage, though they may not retain his services for much longer.
Everton hit a promising run of form prior to their 10-point deduction and looked primed to evade a relegation battle and possible demotion to the Championship. And much of that can be attributed to the elite level performances of Branthwaite, who earns a measly £15,000 a week.
Hailed by Jones as a player that could make Everton a lot of money, in an interview with GIVEMESPORT, Branthwaite’s deal, worth £1m, is now looking like absolute pennies considering how well he has performed in Everton’s back line. Back in 2020, Everton took a punt on the then-17-year-old after he had impressed in his 11-game stint for then-League Two outfit Carlisle, Branthwaite’s boyhood club.
Despite being just the tender age of 21, the Englishman is attracting ample interest from Manchester United as Erik ten Hag looks to bolster his defensive options in 2024, notably in the January transfer window, and could be set to move to Old Trafford in the foreseeable future. According to TEAMtalk, the centre-back has risen to the top of the Red Devils’ primary defensive shortlist amid the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, while stand-in option Jonny Evans sees his one-year deal at Old Trafford expire at the end of the campaign.
Branthwaite, 21, has also being linked with Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur as the north Londoners attempt to fare without summer signing Micky van de Ven, according to the Evening Standard. PSV Eindhoven, a side in which he spent 2022/23 on loan at, saw a £15m bid rejected in January but may return for his services in the impeding business window, though Everton - given their current circumstances - will be eager to not let him go.
Jones suggested that Everton will likely expect at least £50m for Branthwaite’s services if he looks to act on the interest, given he is young and a homegrown talent. With a huge future in football ahead of him, the transfer insider insisted that he is one of the few players – currently earning their corn in England’s top division – that United are monitoring.
Given the sad state of affairs that Everton currently find themselves in, however, Jones insists that, from a team perspective, the Goodison Park-based outfit cannot face the prospect of losing such a star. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he said:
“You'd imagine like £50 million as a starting point for a player that is young, homegrown and has a big future in the game. But Manchester United definitely like him. He is one of the few players within the Premier League that they actually have an eye on for the future, but obviously Everton in the state they're in right now, they can't really contemplate a sale from a team perspective, and the fans will just hope that they're not tempted to cash in.”
Because much of the Everton-based headlines of late have been littered with stories regarding their takeover and points deduction issues, it’s easy to forget that the January transfer window is just around the corner – a prime opportunity for the Toffees to enrich their squad, especially in the form of a worthy successor for Branthwaite.
According to French publication Foot Mercato, Everton are showing concrete interest in Lyon ace Jake O’Brien, 22, who moved to the French club from Crystal Palace for just €1m in the summer of 2023. With his current employers dwelling at the bottom of Ligue 1, O’Brien has been a bright spark in their somewhat beleaguering season.
The 11-cap Ireland Under-21 international, despite being a centre-back, is his side’s joint-top goalscorer alongside former Arsenal frontman Alexandre Lacazette and would bring ample excitement to Merseyside should a deal be landed in January. With Branthwaite potentially moving on in the coming months, it would be wise for Dyche and his side to have such a contingency plan in place.
On the back of his promise during the 2023/24 campaign thus far, Everton will be looking to tie Branthwaite down to a long-term contract, amid some of the Premier League’s top clubs circling. Of course, with Everton’s precarious financial situation a well-known fact, any would-be buyers could take advantage of that and bag a bargain for the sought-after youngster.