Everton could be set to lose one of their top young assets in January alongside Amadou Onana, with the pair reportedly being targeted by a rival in the Premier League.
Who are Everton linked with?
Over the summer, Sean Dyche’s side recruited five fresh faces in the form of Beto, Youssef Chermiti and Ashley Young on a permanent basis, whilst Arnaut Danjuma and Jack Harrison put pen to paper on season-long loans for the remainder of the campaign.
With that window having closed, the Toffees are assessing their options ahead of the next one opening, and have been linked with moves for Al-Ittihad winger Jota and Paris Saint-Germain striker Hugo Ekitike, alongside a double swoop for Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, as per reports from Spain.
The Goodison Park side are also focused on securing the long-term services of one of their current players in Jarrad Branthwaite, who was the subject of a surprise enquiry from Manchester United before the previous transfer deadline, and the centre-back attracting interest has prompted chiefs to take action.
Football Insider recently reported that the Merseyside outfit have opened discussions with the 21-year-old regarding a new contract, but should a more high-profile club come calling, it may be hard for England’s youth international to turn down an exciting opportunity like completing a switch to Old Trafford.
Is Jarrad Branthwaite leaving Everton?
According to The Daily Mail, Man United are eyeing Amadou Onana, but have also earmarked Branthwaite once again as an ideal target for January after Lisandro Martinez suffered a long-term injury: “Even if Martinez returns before the end of the year, United could be in the market for a new centre-back in the January transfer window – with Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite one of the names on their radar.
How good is Jarrad Branthwaite?
Standing at 6 foot 5, Branthwaite provides an excellent physical presence at the heart of Everton’s backline, which he’s proven so far this season by averaging 3.8 clearances and 3.2 aerial wins per top-flight game, via WhoScored.
He ranks poorly in most ball playing based metrics, which does perhaps ask questions about his ability to transition his form to a club who dominate the ball, but he sits in the 70th percentile or above for each of tackles, interceptions and aerials won, showing his physical dominance and smart reading of the game (FBRef).
Dyche’s left-footed ace is even capable of making a positive impact at the opposite end of the pitch having clocked up nine contributions (seven goals and two assists) in 89 appearances since the start of his career which has seen him labelled a “terrific footballer” by his former manager Steven Pressley.
United have been heavily linked with a move for Onana having made an approach for him over the summer, and whilst a deal for him failed to come to fruition, Erik ten Hag appears to have instead set his sights on his teammate in Branthwaite, who pockets £15k-per-week at Goodison Park.