Is this why England boss Gareth Southgate witnessed Everton's win over Chelsea

It was another strong performance for the Everton youngster as they kept Chelsea at bay.

Jarrad Branthwaite is continuing to make waves for Everton as they triumphed over Chelsea at Goodison Park over the weekend and he may just have caught the eye of the England manager.

Another victory was backed up by another clean sheet as his partnership with James Tarkowski continues to be one of Sean Dyche's most important duos and the 21-year-old looks better with each passing game.

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And he may just have caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate, who was in attendance at Goodison on Sunday. Branthwaite is yet to make his senior debut but he did captain the U21 side last month and was part of the U21 European Championship winning-side.

A caution against Chelsea was the only negative mark against his name at the weekend which means he will miss their trip to face Burnley at the weekend but he dealt with Armando Broja and Nicolas Jackson accordingly. Dyche has trusted the academy graduate this season despite his lack of experience in the top-flight; he has just 24 Premier League appearances to his name since making his debut in December 2020.

Southgate was in attendance to see Branthwaite deal with a faltering Chelsea attack but his three clearances, three interceptions and four tackles capped off another successful afternoon's work and it is safe to say that the England manager must have been impressed. However, with a major tournament so close, he is unlikely to break in.

Euro 2024 is next summer and that will surely come too soon for Branthwaite given his lack of experience but the centre-back position is certainly one that is up for contention when compared to the rest of the squad. In the most recent international break, centre-back options for England included Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United) and Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan). The only other player who could be added to the list is John Stones (Man City) who has missed out with injury in recent times, but it's still a tough set of players for Branthwaite to break into. However, he currently ranks fourth for interceptions per game (1.8) and fifth for clearances (5.1) in the Premier League which shows how quickly he has taken to life in the top-flight.

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Is there any argument that he is the best English centre-back on current form right now? It may be a slightly naïve claim, but he has been nothing short of a consistent performer since coming into the side and the biggest compliment that can be given to him is the fact that he looks like he's been at this level for years.

However, given that there are only a few games left for Southgate before the tournament next summer, there may not be time for him to add Branthwaite into a squad to take a closer look, which means he will have to bide his time until the end of the summer.

Considering his form has already caught the eye of Tottenham and both Manchester clubs from a transfer standpoint, his profile will only continue to grow across the league campaign, but, given he signed a long-term-deal earlier this season, he's likely to remain at Goodison for the foreseeable future to keep developing and an England call-up is certainly not out of the question across the next year.

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