Transfer News: Manchester United targeting a move for Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite in the summer
Although Everton have been struggling this season and are currently facing the threat of relegation, Branthwaite has emerged as one of the few lone sparks of their campaign. However, he has still not been a regular starter for the club.
With United’s current crop of defenders not looking like the same players that helped them reach the runners-up position in the Premier League last year, many have wondered why the team has suddenly dropped off the face of the Earth.
Raphael Varane was bought from Real Madrid last summer to improve the squad, but he too has been satisfactory for the club since his move. Not just this, he has also had injury niggles every now and then, leading to his absence for a lot of games.
Potential for the future
Branthwaite’s technical ability and physical stature at 6ft 5ins make him a keen proposition for United to sign, given how poor their current defenders are. Furthermore, they also want to add a new centre-back to their team. However, their transfer budget depends on Champions League qualification by the end of the campaign.
With a possible limited budget next season, the Red Devils have drafted a list that includes internationals, but are also looking at young players who have the potential to develop. These kinds of starlets could be signed for a fairly reasonable price and can then become future starters for the club.
This term, we have seen centre-backs like Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof put in some woeful performances, as the two defenders have been torn apart by stronger opposition. The Swede has done fairly well as compared to the Englishman, but overall, he has failed to convince Rangnick to make him a regular starter.
Meanwhile, other options like Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are not even in consideration for starting PL games, making up the bench for the Red Devils. They are not even given a chance to prove themselves, and are kept on the sidelines while our first-choice players continue to disappoint.
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In such a situation, one must ask whether it is worth signing someone who played for Carlisle United in the past and is only 19 years old. Former boss Carlo Ancelotti recognised his talents and he broke into Everton’s first team, although he is barely used by current manager Frank Lampard.
Perhaps it is best to allow Branthwaite to develop at Goodison Park, rather than gamble on a teenager to lead the defensive lineup for us next season. If we do end up signing him, it may be detrimental to the player;’s progress, as he would only be warming the bench in place of experienced stars.