So Everton have made their first signing of this January transfer window as the Blues confirmed they have added 17-year-old central defender Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlise United.
I have to admit to sometimes being truly confused by the transfer policy that Everton operate under the current regime. We added a 19-year-old forward this summer who has barely got a look in and now the club bring in a 17-year-old defender. What’s next a 15-year-old midfielder?!
It really doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense signing yet another teenager who is unlikely to be able to make a contribution to the first team any time soon. Stepping up to the Premier League from the Championship is hard enough, let alone from League One.
With all these kids, we might have a good team by the 2022-23 season but could be playing in the lower leagues by then! Surely what the Toffees need in this window are players who can come in and help a struggling first team now, not in a year or two at best.
And before adding any more youngsters from another club how about trying to give some of the existing youth team players a proper chance?
We’ll never know of these kids have what it takes if they don’t get a shot at first team football. It’s not as if the senior players have exactly covered themselves in glory this season is it?!
After all the Under 23’s won the league and cup double last season and yet hardly any of them seem to be close to a chance with the first team apart from Anthony Gordon.
And there are rumours that German giants Bayern Munich now want to add Gordon to their squad, which would seem to fit with their policy of signing young English attackers.
The Blues also already have a young centre-back, Lewis Gibson, who is yet to see any playing time in the first team this season, despite the Toffees defensive woes and being essentially Everton’s fourth choice central defender. Perhaps Branthwaite’s arrival will signal his departure.
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Gibson himself was also only signed from Newcastle United in 2017 and as a result of his lack of opportunity, he has not signed a new contract and might be tempted now to seek a move away. Why don’t these youngsters ever make the grade?
Bringing in an even younger player in this position, one who will presumably go into the Under 18’s or Under 23’s for now, seems a totally unnecessary and very strange move.
Obviously I have nothing against the lad, I hope he makes it and has a long and successful career at Goodison Park.
However if new additions are to be made, they surely need to be proven quality and experienced players who can give this team a fighting chance of finishing in the European places, come the end of the current season.