As Everton part ways with Yerry Mina this summer, the need for another centre back arises. The Toffees will need to sign a replacement for the Colombian and given their tight transfer budget, they might have to rely on their in house solution, Jarrad Branthwaite.
Mina arrived from Barcelona for £27 million in 2018. He was impressive and one of the best defenders that the team had but only when he was fit. For large parts of his Everton career, Mina suffered injuries that kept him out of action for extended periods. Before the final game of the season, Mina announced that he will be leaving the club as a free agent upon his contract expiry.
EFC have not activated the option to sign Conor Coady permanently, meaning that he has returned to Wolves. Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey also face uncertain futures at the club. This leaves Everton with James Tarkowski, Michael Keane and Branthwaite as possible central defence options.
Everton must trust Jarrad Branthwaite with a starting role
Last season, the Toffees had six centre back options – Keane, Tarkowski, Holgate, Godfrey, Coady and Mina. With abundance of central defence options, EFC had loaned Branthwaite to PSV Eindhoven where he can play regular football and continue his development.
Initially, Branthwaite encountered obstacles at PSV, as regular playing opportunities were hard to come by in the first couple of months on the season. However, Branthwaite become an integral part of the PSV team in the second half and showing his outstanding abilities. The Dutch side made an attempt to sign the defender but EFC rejected the offer.
AS Roma have also shown interest in the centre back but are yet to make any concrete offers for the 20 year old. A few days ago, a report emerged that West Ham United have also enquired about the young centre back. Sean Dyche is yet to make a decision over Branthwaite’s future. Dyche is likely to assess him during pre-season and then take a call whether to send him on loan or keep him as part of the first team.
EFC do need a reliable partner for Tarkowski and Branthwaite is an option that should be considered. By trusting Branthwaite, instead of signing a new centre back, the Toffees could save millions in transfer fees. He has shown his capabilities and is thriving high on confidence and deserves a chance to prove himself in the Everton shirt. He’s tall, athletic and good with the ball at his feet, with a seasoned partner like Tarkowski by his side, Branthwaite could excel in the Everton backline.
Will Jarrad Branthwaite stay at Goodison Park?