Everton could be set to reward young defender Jarrad Branthwaite with a new contract following an impressive start to the season.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven where he had an impressive campaign, lifting the KNVB Cup.
The Cumbrian-born defender then tasted further success in the summer as he was part of Lee Carsley’s England U-21 squad to win the European Championships.
Indeed, the highly rated youngster was linked with a permanent return to the Netherlands in the summer, as PSV looked to swoop for the centre-back.
However, Branthwaite returned to Merseyside and has been a standout performer for Sean Dyche’s side in the early weeks of the season.
It is no surprise then that the club are keen to tie the young defender down on a long-term deal, with Branthwaite’s current contract running until 2025, with an option to extend by a further year.
As per reports in The Athletic, Everton have opened discussions with the 21-year-old regarding renewed terms.
Should Jarrad Branthwaite sign a new contract at Goodison, it would be a huge boost for the Blues to secure such a prodigious talent on a long-term deal.
Indeed, Branthwaite’s defensive partner James Tarkowski insists that the young centre-back has all of the attributes to make it to the ‘very top of the game’.
Tarkowski said of his Everton teammate: “He’s calm, technically very good, physical and quick. He’s also got size.
“He’s got everything to go to the very top of the game, especially for his age. I didn’t see too much of him last season, so this was my first real look and I’ve been really impressed.”
There are echoes of John Stones in Jarrad Branthwaite’s style, and patience will be required for the sake of his development, but the 21-year-old is already a serious talent.