Ferdinand makes Branthwaite Everton claim after England snub

The former Manchester United and England star was speaking about Jarrad Branthwaite's exclusion from Gareth Southgate's final squad for the Euros this summer.
England v Bosnia & Herzegovina - International Friendly
England v Bosnia & Herzegovina - International Friendly / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

This seems a strange assertion to make given that Southgate called him up in the first place - surely if the Blues brand of football was so bad why bother?

It is true that the Toffees have relied on sound defence and a long-ball game for much of the last campaign. Neither is going to win you many friends these days.

Despite this though and having still called Branthwaite up, Southgate barely gave him any time to show what he was capable of before he was axed in the end from the final party.

So, the 21-year-old did not get much chance to provide any evidence to the England boss what he can do and whether he would be able to play a more expansive style of football. The answer I think is unequivocally yes.

After all, Branthwaite's calmness and composure on the ball - when at times some of those around him were losing their heads - was a feature of his performances this past season for Everton.

Branthwaite's consistent excellence belied his age and lack of experience in what was his first Premier League campaign and underlined not just his strong and robust defending, but also the quality he possesses on the ball as well.

Whatever the exact reasons Southgate elected not to take him - which is more likely to be simply lack of experience and a surfeit of other options - none of this seems to have adversely affected Ferdinand's former club in their relentless pursuit of Branthwaite over the last few weeks.

United have instead been constantly linked with a summer move for the defender that Everton value at around £70-80 million.

The Old Trafford outfit do not want to pay that much and have allegedly decided they won't go over £50 million for Branthwaite.

Whether the Toffees will have to sell him and what fee they might get if they did, seems largely dependent on whether the club can offload other players - principally Amadou Onana - before the end of June or close to it.

That of course is because Everton are weighed down by debt and facing another possible PSR breach, all of which is compounded by the continuing uncertainty over the club's ownership.

Regardless, it seems certain Branthwaite will be back in an England shirt at some point next season. But will he still be an Everton player by then?