Blues announce capture of Branthwaite for U23s

Monday, 13 January, 2020 40comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have completed the signing of highly-regarded young centre-half Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle United.

The 17-year-old will join the Under-23s setup to begin with after arriving for an undisclosed fee, initially reported as being in the region of £750,000 before add-ons, but which is described by the Cumbrian club as "substantial".

Branthwaite, who was also recently linked with Liverpool, has signed a two-and-half-year deal with the Blues

“I just can't wait to get started,” he said. “Everton is a big club and I'm buzzing to be here.

“My long-term goal, 100 per cent, is to play for the Everton first-team in front of the great crowds at Goodison. That would be my dream.”  

Reader Comments (40)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:06:04
Keith Harrison, you are the King of Cumbria... know anything about this kid?
Steve Ferns
2 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:08:46
Welcome to the blues.

I believe Brands is about 6'1" and this 17 year old has a good inch or two on him, so he should be a big lad. He's also meant to be decent on the ball and two footed. No mention of pace though. I hope he isn't slow.

Jay Wood

3 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:13:49
Said the same thing on a different thread Steve.

Based on the photo alongside Brands, he looks a big unit and at just 17 hasn't stopped growing yet!

Just seen that Barcelone has sacked Valverde and replaced him with former Real Betis coach Quique Setien.

Wonder what Mike Gaynes thinks of that?

Steve Ferns
4 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:23:23
Barcelona sack their manager when top of the league, it's nuts.

I read an article on the power struggle behind the scenes. Apparently they offered the job to Xavi and the Director of Football to Puyol, but both said no. The reason the author of the article believes they said no is that they are on the side of the rival of the incumbent president, and that he is set to be ousted and then the Rival will appoint Xavi and Puyol when he comes in.

So, this may be a desperate act of an outgoing President to cling onto power.

Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:43:04
Steve #4, as you may know, I watch every Barca game (they're my "2nd" team) and this sacking isn't nuts. In fact, it's way overdue. Under Valverde, Barca suffered their two most embarrassing CL collapses in back-to-back seasons, blowing 3-goal first-leg leads against Roma and then the RS. They lost an ugly Copa del Rey final to Valencia. And just a few days ago they blew the Supercopa semifinal to Atletico, coming completely unglued in the last ten minutes to lose a game they had locked up. The Barca fans present (the game was in Saudi Arabia) booed Valverde off the pitch, which Barca fans very rarely do.

I don't know anything about that writer's theories concerning a power struggle at the top, but I do know that Barca is a defensive train wreck in pressure situations against quality opponents. Valverde was never the right choice to manage this club.

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:54:29
Maybe you watch Barcelona more than me Mike. But Valverde is a decent manager. Setien has done what, exactly, to get one of the best jobs in world football? If he had come to Everton, we'd have questioned his credentials. He has managed poor clubs, but look at his win percentage. In the absence of trophies, there's not much else to look at. What evidence is there at all that he can handle some of the biggest egos in football at a time when collectively their egos are outweighing their talents. Barcelona should really be sacking Abidal for his poor recruitment.
Jack Convery
7 Posted 14/01/2020 at 00:45:05
Good luck kid. I hope you don't disappear into the black hole of our u23s never to be seen in the first team in the EPL.
Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 14/01/2020 at 00:46:47
Can't help you on Setien, Steve. I know nothing about him.

But I'd contest your belief that the egos are outweighing the talent. Look at what a spectacular year The Rat was having before he was injured. He played with that bad knee for months, putting it all in for the club. Messi, Vidal, Pique will brook no egotism or lack of effort.

Barca's problem isn't recruitment or ego, it's lack of organization on the pitch, and that's a managerial issue. Players aren't connecting properly, and the defensive coverage is a disaster. Pique has slipped this season -- no surprise after 400 games the way he plays -- and Umtiti and Lenglet just can't coordinate with him. If it weren't for Ter Stegen becoming one of the top three keepers in the world, they wouldn't even be top of the league.

Yes, Valverde is a decent manager. And that's all. In this case the word "decent" is derogatory. Barca requires a top manager, and Valverde has never been it. Maybe Setien will be. It's my understanding that he was hired because his clubs are always highly organized with the Barca quick-passing style, and as a result they play very attractive football with lesser talent. I hope it's true.

Derek Knox
9 Posted 14/01/2020 at 00:47:26
Mike and Steve, I appreciate your comments, but until recently, I had let alone heard of this lad, but knew even less about him.

From the clips I have seen, against whatever opposition, he does look okay to be honest.

It is encouraging nevertheless, that we are actually signing these up and coming talents, I have a sneaky feeling that this guy MAY become a useful addition to the ranks.

Bill Gienapp
10 Posted 14/01/2020 at 00:52:51
Re: Barcelona - don't know if it's true, but read that they sounded out Koeman about the job, but he didn't want to leave the Dutch national team when the Euros are this summer.

As for Branthwaite - great. He can start this weekend, yuk yuk.

Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 14/01/2020 at 01:15:02
Yep, Bill, they offered the job to Koeman, Xavi and possibly Pocchettino. And yes, Ronald wanted to stay with the Dutch, not just for the Euros but beyond. His contract runs through the World Cup in Qatar.
Ben Howard
12 Posted 14/01/2020 at 01:20:31
I don't pretend to be an expert on Barcelona, but I'd imagine Koeman to be a disaster. If any of our exes were to be a success there I'd put my money on Martinez. His problem was always that he wanted to play football too pretty for the squad he'd assembled.
Gavin Johnson
13 Posted 14/01/2020 at 01:40:37
Good luck to the lad. I understand that he's left footed so we now have two emerging left sided CB's in Branthwaite and Lewis Gibson. Both are highly coveted. Lets hope one at least one of them makes it into our first team.
Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 14/01/2020 at 04:15:41
Gavin(#13);Gibson, Feeney and Branthwaite as the future "Back 3" but what do we do with Pennington, Connolly, Foulds, Ouzounides, Nathanangelo (or was it Markelo?) and any more. If it's an improvement then I shouldn't have a problem with it but it is difficult to see, especially with the overloaded wage bill of those seniors not contributing much, just what the policy is other than Brands ethos of building for the future.
Brent Stephens
15 Posted 14/01/2020 at 06:06:57
Alan, Nathangelo Markelo is playing midfield. Ouzounidis doesn't look as good as Feeney and Gibson (more prone to mistakes, such as last night). Foulds can play CB but can also play at LB and I've seen him on the left of midfield as well, so versatile.
Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 14/01/2020 at 07:11:33
Paying £750,000 and only giving the kid a 2.5 year contract. It looks like Gibson, might leave in the summer, which just shows how much power these young kids have now. (Unless Everton decided on the contract, which shows me they have got loads of spare cash now?)

Garbutt, is the best example, he's saying that he will have to see what happens between Everton and Ipswich, with regards to him signing for the tractor boys. In other words, I'm not leaving that contact at Everton, because only a fool would depart easily from such a contract.

Fran Mitchell
17 Posted 14/01/2020 at 07:32:11
Hopefully a good prospect and will make inroads into the first team squad before he turns 20.

I wonder if his arrival will actually coincide with the full time promotion of either Feeney or Gibson, or whether if means Gibson will in fact be on his way?

Tony, Garbutt would indeed be stupid to give up his contract. He is what, 25, and currently earning 25k a week. He seems to have got back on track, and may actually make a career in the Championship, but he's unlikely to get near such a wage for the rest of his career, which has about 7/8 years left.

What he earns in the next six months will probably be what he earns over the rest of his career and more. I know if someone offered it to, I'd certainly not turn it down.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 14/01/2020 at 07:56:50
For all the clamour for stop gap signings like Nzonzi, this is the sort of stuff I really want to see. This is strategic recruitment of young british talent. Playing first team centre half at the lower tiers, he must be a tough lad. Delighted to see the likes of him follow stones, holgate and DCL into the first team at Everton. Fingers crossed and more to come perhaps (we were looking at a young left back from. Grimsby).
Jim Burns
19 Posted 14/01/2020 at 09:32:23
Another investment for the future? Interesting how Arsenal and then Spurs tightened their transfer purse strings after they'd splurged on their stadiums.
Some would argue both of them have levelled out ( relatively)in success terms since and are still not quite kicking on.
Worth thinking about in terms of our own stadium plans and anticipated timeframes.
Buying now in the right age bracket and for the right price could be wise if we anticipate the same transfer budget restrictions post Bramley Moore.
Sam Hoare
20 Posted 14/01/2020 at 09:45:47
The best for this lad would be to be loaned back to Carlisle till the end of the season where he is established in the first team.

I've read a few analyses of him and it seems like he is a dominant centre back who has a decent turn of pace for someone who is so tall and is pretty two footed though his pasisng needs a bit of work. He has good positional sense and is apparently a very hard worker. So lots of good raw attributes.

He probably won't be ready to impact on first team for at least a year or more likely two or three. Ideally he returns to Carlisle then has a pre-season with us and plays first half of next season in the U23s. If he does well there then maybe he gets the second half of the year in a decent League one or lower Championship team.

It's good to have the production line stocked and if he works hard and gets close to achieving his potential then we either have someone who can contribute to the first team or we can sell for more than we bought him for.

Tony Everan
21 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:20:42
Welcome and good luck to Jarrad.

17 is no age, especially for a CB, so he has a lot of development to do. If he proves himself in the u23's a loan move to a decent Championship club will bring him on to the next stage.

It is quite something that his contact expires when he is still 19!, but I am sure that will be extended if he shows real promise after year 1.

As Sam says he seems to have all the raw attributes and it will be interesting to follow his development. Hopefully all the way to the first team.

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:33:07
Mike, you clearly will watch far more Barca than myself. The overriding inference I draw from whenever I see them is that the players delivering all tend to have more glory days behind them than ahead of them.

As for criticisms of Valverde, I would take umbrage with that. Now, the team I have always leant towards in Spain is Athletic. Howard Kendall managed them and so I've always been fascinated by the mysterious Basque side that has an English name (Athletic as opposed to Atletico), English origins, lots of English managers, but yet operates a Basque only system for players (the Cantera).

Athletic have a long and proud history and with 8 league titles, which puts them 4th on the list in Spain. Then there is the fact that they have never been relegated. Their last league success was in 1984. They come from a region very different from the rest of Spain, and have a historically significant port that is still functioning to this day. All of this has, for me at least, draws parallels to Everton and the City of Liverpool.

A few years back, it seemed like they could no longer compete, that the Cantera policy would have to be scrapped or they would go down. Yet, Valverde restored them back to the top half of the table. He then left and had some mixed results elsewhere (3 titles in Greece) and before he came back. Whilst he was gone Athletic slipped to midtable, in came Marcelo Bielsa who took over them after they had climbed to 6th (their highest position since Valverde) and saw them slip further down the table despite success in the King's Cup and Europe (twice beaten finalists). Bielsa saw them slip further down the table and he was let go as his contract expired and back came Valverde.

Bielsa had created an exciting side full of energy, as he always does. He used players already there, of course. But by the time Valverde came back, out had gone Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich). Valverde continued the development of Ander Herrera (Man Utd) and Aymeric Laporte (Man City). And in beating his own 5th place, registered Athletic's highest finish for 17 years - 4th. He then followed this up with successive finished between 5th and 7th over the next three years. He also again got them to the final of the King's Cup (Copa del Rey), which in turn qualified them for the Spanish Charity Shield. Of course it ain't anything more than a glorified friendly, but when it's the first trophy lifted since 1984 (not counting the Spanish Charity Shield in 1985) it becomes something, as it would if we lost the cup final and then hoisted the Charity Shield aloft the following August.

You simply do not give the guy enough credit Mike. And for anyone to do well at Bilbao with the Cantera policy, you need to be a very good coach, and capable of bringing the youth players through, as the only players you can buy are ones who are from the Basque region. Valverde has a lot more credentials than his successor at Barcelona and it'll be interesting to see what he does next. If Ancelotti had gone to Barcelona and we were looking for a new manager now, I would be thrilled to get Valverde. A pragmatist who gets results, works within a budget, and is not afraid to play and develop kids. Don't forget that he was the manager who made the big call to drop Athletic keeper and captain for the current Chelsea keeper, Arrizabalaga. Laporte and Herrera also came to prominence and earned their big money Premier League moves under his guidance.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:38:17
Sam, if he needs work, then surely it would be better to bring him into our setup and do that work now. Second half of this season he can work with Unsworth and hope to prove himself. If he does, then next season he could be training with the first team, like Gibson has been, but playing with the u23s. This would allow him to further develop his game, pitting himself against Richarlison each day. Surely that is better for his long term development than getting kicked up in the air by some League 1 Troy Deeney. It may well be that he does need to toughen up, and some physical stuff at the age of 19, 20 or 21 is required. But, at these crucial ages, where the foundation is set for the career, I would have him working with our coaches.
Sam Hoare
24 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:55:40
Steve, I believe (and I think there are studies somewhere that support it) that the most important development a player can get between 17-21 is during competitive first team matches. A lad his age getting 20-40 matches in front of a crowd and against real men is goldust in my eyes.

I'm sure the academy coaches can keep an eye on him and even offer some pointers as to how he can improve individually but playing week in and week out is fantastic experience at his age. I suspect the likes of Feeney and Gibson have not kicked on more because they been stuck in development sides rather than getting real, first team experience.

Steve Ferns
25 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:07:11
You are probably right Sam, but I suspect that having come through a League Two clubs academy, he will still have a lot to learn. And if it really is important to play games at 17-21, then why are we retaining Anthony Gordon? Surely you'd have loaned him out in the summer and got him games?

My belief is that you need to follow the natural progression. Up the age range groups and complete at least one season with the u23s (at the age of 18) and then into the first team squad, whereby you will learn more training against Richarlison (as a defender) or Lucas Digne (as a winger) than you would against lads not good enough to make it higher up the pyramid. After this age, you've learnt enough and if you are still not in the first team reckoning, then now is the time to get out on loan and practice what you've learnt.

Keith Harrison
26 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:18:55
Mike, (1) et al.
Haven't seen the lad play live, even though he's from the next village to me, except for a few clips on the local news. Captained the side and became their youngest ever goalscorer about 3 months ago v Morecambe at age 16. He took the ball from his own box, dribbled upfield and walloped it in with his weaker foot from 25 yards. He is comfortable with both feet.
A Newcastle scout was in here at work the following day and mentioned to me that he was recommending him to them as he 'will go all the way', plus scouts from Villa, Norwich, Soton and a few others were at the match.
I messaged Rob Halligan to pass details on to our club. Not sure if that's how he's ended up here, but the Newcastle scout (ex Gretna, Barrow and Annan manager) was none too pleased when I told him last week.
Carlisle fans wish him well, in fact told him he's better off out of Carlisle.

I played Rugby Union with his dad, who is a great lad, and was the County Stand Off in his heyday. Friends have told me he is a smashing grounded lad.

Franny Porter
27 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:19:52
Genuine question:

Would our U23's be expected to beat Carlisle in a competitive game?

Keith Harrison
28 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:23:32
Franny. In a cup match, probably not. In a 'league' game, probably win with something to spare.

Carlisle have a cup replay v Cardiff at Brunton Park tomorrow night after they were robbed in the first match after a cross went at least a yard out of play before floating back in, re-crossed and Cardiff equalised. Branthwaite hasn't played for them since before Xmas, and their defence was appalling against Plymouth at home on Saturday.

Jeff Spiers
29 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:58:05

Alan McGuffog
30 Posted 14/01/2020 at 12:24:24
Carlisle owe us big time. 1975 ! I think they are, possibly, the only club to have a 100% record against us.
Tom Bowers
31 Posted 14/01/2020 at 12:29:03
Will he see the light of day for the first team ?
Everton have let so many decent defenders go who have done well at other clubs whilst the keep spending big money on players who underachieve.
Would like to see the lad do well and progress to the first team but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Derek Knox
32 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:42:49
Hopefully a good acquisition and not too long before he breaks in to the first team set-up. It may allow Gibson (if he signs a new contract) and or Feeney to be amongst the subs on matchdays.

Think these lads should be encouraged and made to feel that they are a part of the future, otherwise they will be tempted to seek regular Football elsewhere.

Jay Wood

33 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:59:06
Really nice interview with the lad on the club site.


He is clearly totally made up at being at Everton. Couldn't stop smiling and comes across as a well-grounded and mature 17-year-old.

And I'll mention it for a third time. He towers above Marcel Brands and I don't disbelieve some sites that list him at 1.95 metres. That's 6ft 4ins in old money.

And presumably he's not done growing! He only turns 18 at the end of June.

Here's hoping he proves a good 'un.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 14/01/2020 at 14:14:19
Saw that Jay, he seems more muscular than Feeney. Hopefully he does not get too much bigger, as 6'4" is enough! I'd rather he retains the speed Sam says he has and is able to have the quick feet that tall layers tend to lack.
Paul Cherrington
35 Posted 14/01/2020 at 15:02:13
This is a really good signing, I think, and good luck to the lad. I would have preferred someone ready to step right into first-team action in an ideal world but he looks set to be a great player for us.

I think we should look down the EFL much more for signings rather than always heading abroad.

Keith Harrison
36 Posted 14/01/2020 at 15:28:19
Alan, 30. They prevented us winning the title that season, 1974. We were 2 up at Goodison too. Carlisles' only term in top flight football.
Mick Conalty
37 Posted 14/01/2020 at 15:42:27
He is tall, but has he got long arms so he can grab hold of the forwards ln our penalty box. Which is now accepted in the modern game.
Robert Tressell
38 Posted 14/01/2020 at 16:30:28
For Branthwaite to develop, he'd be best served by bedding in at Finch Farm to learn (don't laugh) how football should be played alongside players with far greater ability than those at Carlisle.

Dropping down the divisions to toughen up and get games is ok. Also important to learn fast passing football - as per the likes of Mason Mount who learned at Vitesse before Derby. Would rather see some of our lot in Holland, Denmark etc top flight rather than lower leagues. We might have had a player with Dowell if he'd have gone to Holland instead of being judged on workrate alone in the Championship.

Tony Everan
39 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:17:57
Robert, very good point, I've always admired Ajax and the dutch regarding training philosophy with their emphasis on passing ability. As you say Mason Mount aged 18 will have benefited greatly from exposure to that intensive fast passing game they teach their teams up and down the country. It is something the club could look into more as a viable option.
Martin Berry
40 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:08:54
Sam 24#
Spot on observation and comment, totally agree.

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