Lee Carsley names the 'brilliant' Everton star who has lifted his status in European circles

The former Everton midfielder has been highly encouraged by the defender's progress.

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Lee Carlsey surveyed Jarrad Branthwaite's eye-catching Everton progress and insisted he's not surprised.

The defender has been one of the Toffees' standout players since returning to Goodison Park this season. Branthwaite spent the 2022-23 campaign on loan at PSV Eindhoven where he thrived. He made 37 appearances, scoring four goals and recording two assists to help the Dutch side finish second in the Eredivisie and win the KNVB Cup.

Branthwaite was then part of the England under-21 squad that claimed European Championship glory in Romania and Georgia over the summer. He made one outing in the tournament in a 2-0 win against Germany, but that was only because Chelsea's highly-rated Levi Colwill was ahead in the pecking order.

Branthwaite was named on the bench for Everton's opening four Premier League games of the 2023-24 campaign. But since dislodging Michael Keane from Sean Dyche's starting line-up, the 21-year-old has helped the Blues garner 13 points and move up to 14th in the table - as well as reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Branthwaite - who signed for Everton from Carlisle in January 2020 - will be on familiar territory when England under-21s face Northern Ireland at Goodison Park on Tuesday 21 November. And head coach Carsley, speaking to the media at the Blues' stadium last week, has been encouraged by the Cumbrian's profound development.

Carsley said: "It was a brilliant move for him to go and play week in, week out at PSV - a club who are under pressure themselves to win games. That pressure of having to manage your body and form to transform that into the Premier League seems to be a smooth transition.

Jarrad Branthwaite. Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty ImagesJarrad Branthwaite. Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images
Jarrad Branthwaite. Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

"I think it's important we understand that he's still young, he's a brilliant defender and it's going well for him. But at some point, he's going to need some support when things aren't going so great and we don't think we lose sight of a player with really high potential who is playing really well.

"Not really [surprised]. Young players have different stages and different phases they develop and Jarrad is showing that maturity. Getting that move away from Everton has probably lifted his status not only in football in England but European circles to show he can do it on different stages. Going to a different club is a challenge but then add a different country, different language and different style.

"Like I said, he's shown he's really adaptable and coachable, which is really important, and he's been a brilliant addition for the under-21s. He's come in and is playing in a place where maybe a Levi Colwill, who has gone on to do really well with the seniors and Chelsea, that transition has gone really smooth."

Branthwaite found himself as back-up to Colwill - who has subsequently gone on to become an England senior international - and Manchester City's Taylor Harwood-Bellis at the Euros. The young Lions did not concede a single goal on the road to glory, with Branthwaite contributing to that stat with his performance in the group-stage victory against Germany.

Carsley admitted it was difficult to make changes to his rearguard during the tournament but Branthwaite closely observed the displays of Colwill and Harwood-Bellis to ensure he could make a seamless transition if called up.

The former Everton midfielder added: "He's got a lot of common sense, Jarrad. When you're watching the team play and see players who are in your position are a really high level, Levi would be an example of that, Jarrad is more than capable of playing in the team like he did against Germany. The way Levi and Taylor performed in that tournament especially, along with James Trafford and the goalkeepers, all of them the way they trained, the team didn't concede a goal.

"From a defender's point of view, you're not going to make a lot of changes but the way he trained every day, the way he way around the environment, he deserves the changes he's getting and it's his place. Hopefully, he keeps playing well for Everton, keeps playing well for the under-21s and puts himself in the picture for the senior team."

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