May 18, 2024

Everton’s shrewd acquisition of this exceptional youngster will likely pocket them a pretty penny in the near future.

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Everton have struggled to spend their money efficiently in the transfer market when the chequebook is opened and a huge part of their demise has boiled down to paying over the odds for underperforming talent.

Whilst there are too many financial blunders to name, from Morgan Schneiderlin to Jean-Philippe Gbamin, the Toffees have instead found success elsewhere, with their stellar recruitment of talent lower down the football league paying dividends.

The most prolific example of this coming to fruition was the £3m acquisition of John Stones from Barnsley in 2013, with the Englishman establishing himself as one of the best ball-playing defenders on the planet since being snapped up by Pep Guardiola for £47.5m in 2016.

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Although Stones is the most notable, he isn’t the only player Everton have plucked from lower down the pyramid, capturing Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Sheffield United in a deal worth a reported £1.5m in 2016.

Until the 777 Partner’s takeover is complete, this type of talent identification is more imperative than ever as the Toffees are being forced to watch their expenditure in fear of how FFP might sanction them.

That said, the Goodison Park faithful are currently brewing their latest success story in that regard with Jarrad Branthwaite threatening to become the latest big-money sale from Merseyside following his sensational start to the season.

Jarrad Branthwaite’s value at Carlisle United

Much like Stones and Calvert-Lewin, Braithwaite’s path to the Premier League began in the lower echelons of the football league with Carlisle United.

He was captured from the Cumbrian outfit for £1m in the summer of 2020 as a relatively unknown quantity, but his expected transfer valuation, which has since skyrocketed from the €1.1m (£940k) at Carlisle, wouldn’t have come as a surprise to those who facilitated his development during that period.

Such success had been predicted way before his emergence, with the man who gave him his debut at the club, Steven Pressley, praising him highly: “He had so many quality attributes to become a top player. On the back of that one game, I phoned the Director of Football to get him tied up on a longer-term contract, which we did within two or three days.

“From that moment on, he trained with the first team every day. I told people he was a future England international. Not once from when I gave him his debut did I ever consider leaving him out again, because I felt his performances had been so strong.

“The truth is, I think he has got everything. He can pass the ball almost equally as good with both feet. He’s a terrific footballer. And If he continues to develop, then, without doubt, he can be an England player.”

Jarrad Branthwaite’s value at the start of this season

Having arrived at Goodison Park in 2020, Branthwaite was given limited chances to impress in the first team, making only ten appearances in the Premier League with a loan spell at Blackburn Rovers sandwiched in between.

Despite featuring ten times for the Lancashire outfit as an 18-year-old in the 2020/21 campaign, the sharp increase in his progression can be attributed to his loan spell at PSV Eindhoven last term.

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This was the youngster’s first show of faith in senior football and he didn’t disappoint, making 27 appearances in the Eredivisie while displaying his physical and technical attributes.

According to FBref, he ranked in the top 13% against his positional peers in the Dutch top flight for aerials won, top 18% for interceptions and top 19% for pass completion per 90.

Jarrad Branthwaite’s stats per 90 at PSV

Figure

Interceptions

1.63

Aerials won

2.80

Clearances

4.34

Tackles

1.04

Pass completion

86.9%

Progressive passes

3.61

Passes into final third

3.57

All stats sourced via FBref

Having showcased the key facets of his game, it was the above statistics that provided ample reason as to why PSV were so keen to tie him down permanently, with such performances drafting him straight into Sean Dyche’s plans at the start of this campaign.

Subsequently, Branthwaite’s expected transfer value rose to €3.9m (£3.3m) in July this year but in the months that have followed, the 21-year-old has gone from strength to strength and has since blown that value out of the water.

Jarrad Branthwaite’s current transfer value

With several top clubs, including Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester City sniffing around for the talented centre-back, that is a sign, if anything, that his value has soared since the start of this campaign.

A young English, left-sided defender is always a sought-after commodity in the transfer market and Branthwaite has become the latest revelation that has got several salivating over the ceiling of his potential.

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Therefore, his sharp rise to stardom has been reflected by the valuation given to him by the CIES Football Observatory, suggesting the England international is worth £26m (€30m).

While that marks an astronomical 2500% increase from the initial £1m shelled out for him, the £35k per-week titan’s vast importance, natural ability and favourable youth mean that his valuation perhaps could prove far higher than this – closer to the fee they received for Stones.

Why Jarrad Branthwaite is worth that much

Lauded as “magnificent” by Alan Shearer following his colossal display in the victory over West Ham United, the list of admirers of Branthwaite is growing rapidly, despite being only nine games into the season.

The sensational talent, who was dubbed by Ruud van Nistelrooy as the “complete defender” during his time at PSV, has certainly demonstrated the facets of his game that have earned him such a hefty tag.

In an Everton side that is required to do a lot of defending, the Englishman has become an unstoppable figure alongside the experienced James Tarkowski and this is reflected by his monstrous defensive metrics this term.

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He ranks ninth across the whole of the division for interceptions (1.8) and tenth for clearances per game (4.8), as per Sofascore, which demonstrates how vital his front-foot defending and ability to outmuscle his opponents has been for the Toffees – as seen against Michail Antonio.

Additionally, Branthwaite’s exceptional passing ability is one attribute that has been prevalent throughout his career, but it’s something that has come to the fore this term, impressing with his calmness in possession and eye for a defence-splitting pass.

The above attributes are crucial components in the buildup phase of any side and during his time at the club, Carlo Ancelotti backed up this admission by displaying his adulation for his ball-playing ability.

The Italian said: “Jarrad is confident, always calm, and never loses control. I think for an 18-year-old it is unusual to see a performance like this.”

Having stepped up to plate this term and reined in a long list of plaudits, the world is Branthwaite’s oyster and if he continues to perform at a high level, it won’t be long before he gets to showcase his incredible talents at an elite club, perhaps sooner rather than later.

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