Everton manager Sean Dyche has stated that he likes the look of 21-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite.
The centre-back is yet to play a competitive game under Dyche having spent last season on loan at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.
However, the Everton boss has said that the young defender has ‘done well’ during pre-season, stating, “we like what we have seen so far.”
Branthwaite featured during pre-season outings against Stoke City and Sporting CP, as well as a behind closed doors fixture against Italian side AC Monza at Goodison Park.
Indeed, the 21-year-old also featured in yesterday’s behind closed doors tie at Manchester United’s Carrington training complex in a bid to get some invaluable minutes on the pitch.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Sean Dyche said of the Carlisle-born defender: “Jarrad (Branthwaite) has done well in pre-season but he missed a couple of weeks so he is still getting fit and sharp but we like what we have seen so far and we’re just getting used to him.”
Branthwaite can hopefully impress Dyche and break into the Everton XI
Branthwaite didn’t play during Everton’s opening Premier League game of the season last weekend as the Blues lost 1-0 to Fulham at Goodison Park, with Michael Keane getting the nod alongside James Tarkowski.
It was a perplexing decision to omit Branthwaite from the starting XI after such a promising year in the young player’s development, however if he needed minutes on the pitch then it was perhaps the correct call.
Hopefully we will start to see Jarrad Branthwaite integrated into Dyche’s plans as he returns to match fitness and the club wards off any potential bids from Manchester United, who have been linked.
Alongside Branthwaite, forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin played the full 90 minutes during the behind closed doors fixture at Carrington, which is a huge boost for the Toffees ahead Sunday’s trip to Villa Park.