Regardless of finances Everton must resist any Branthwaite offers in January

Stories continue to circulate that Toffees centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite is on the radar of other Premier League clubs as the January transfer window nears.

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
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21-year-old centre-back Branthwaite has been a revelation since he came into the Everton side a few weeks into this current campaign.

I have long been an admirer of his and I felt it was essential that he was retained during the summer when so many players were being sold to help the Blues balance the books.

This was particularly true given that several of those players let go were central defenders with regular starters Yerry Mina and Conor Coady released early in the summer transfer window.

Branthwaite was coming off an excellent season on loan in Holland with PSV Eindhoven where he had forced his way into the first team and helped PSV win the Dutch Cup.

That experience playing abroad was of great benefit to him and helped to complete his development making him ready to return to the Premier League a much more confident and complete player.

Since coming into the team Branthwaite has become a fixture alongside the experienced James Tarkowski in one of the league's best centre-back partnerships.

His combination of pace, tackling, ability in the air and confidence on the ball together with the coolness, intelligence and positional sense he possesses, makes the defender arguably already as good as any in the Premier League.

Recently, Everton secured his signature on a fresh contract keeping the England Under-21 international at Goodison Park until 2027.

Inevitably though, given his outstanding and consistent performances there is plenty of speculation that other clubs will make a move to sign him.

Several other Premier League sides have been named in media reports as interested in a possible swoop for the young star who must surely be close to a full England call-up.

All this is happening while the Toffees are facing a seemingly endless series of problems off the pitch.

After the ten point deduction was handed out there are fresh stories about whether the proposed takeover by 777 Partners will successfully pass the regulatory hurdles in the way of a deal being finally done.

It now seems almost certain this process will not be completed before the New Year leaving Everton potentially unable to pay the bills and facing possible adminstration with Farhad Moshiri no longer financing the club.

That though does seem unlikely, as 777 Partners have apparently agreed to loan more money to the Blues to ensure the club remains viable into 2024. But, for how long will they be able and willing to do so?

So, all this chaos, confusion and uncertainty means that Sean Dyche will probably have nothing to spend in the January window and indeed may face pressure to sell yet more players.

If that is so and I sincerly hope it isn't given how theadbare Dyche's squad already is, then Branthwaite must not be one of those considered for sale.