After so many dreadful results this season Everton supporters have some good news just before tomorrow’s game with the announcement that Jarrad Branthwaite is signing a new contract.
The talented young centre-half has put pen to paper on a fresh contract that keeps him at Goodison Park until 2027.
Everton really do need some positive stories following what has been a horrendous start to the new campaign with four home defeats from four and only a solitary Premier League victory at Brentford.
The lowest point, so far anyway, was reached last Saturday as the Toffees went down to a truly awful and embarrassing 2-1 loss to Luton Town.
Sean Dyche and his team simply have to put in a solid performance and win tomorrow, otherwise it is hard to see how the manager can continue in his job, and who knows what the consequences will be for the rest of the Blues season.
So, this is a piece of good news that will hopefully give the team a little boost on the eve of that massive game against Bournemouth in less than 24 hours time.
Branthwaite’s decision to commit himself to the club for the next four years is also a significant one given that he is arguably Everton’s best player at the moment and has been very much on the radar of other clubs recently.
PSV Eindhoven who he played for on loan last season wanted to permanent deal and just this week Manchester United were rumoured to be ready to make a move for him.
And, his performances have stood out for the Toffees ever since the England Under-21 international got his chance in the team at last.
Although that shouldn’t really have been a total surprise given how well he had performed in Holland last season with PSV.
However, to be fair it is always a different challenge replicating that in the Premier League. Branthwaite has done so.
The former Carlise youngster signed in January 2020 – when he was in fact the first signing under then manager Carlo Ancelotti’s rein – has all the attributes to become a top Premier League defender.
He has abundant pace, is strong in the air, genuinly two-footed, tackes superbly, looks calm and assured in everything he does and is very comfortable and composed on the ball.
For me Branthwaite is also an individual who can become one of the key young players and leaders of the side over the next few years, if the Blues are to build a competitive side and finally start making some progress on the pitch.
That change needs to start tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm against Bournemouth.