'The stature' - Jarrad Branthwaite has already given clear transfer answer to Newcastle United

The Everton defender is reportedly being targeted by Newcastle heading into the January transfer window.
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It'll come as no surprise to Everton fans that Jarrad Branthwaite is reportedly coveted by potential suitors heading into the January transfer window.

Such has been the defender's profound progress this season, it's scarcely a shock that he's started to get the adulation he deserves beyond L4.

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After thriving on loan at PSV Eindhoven last term, helping the Dutch side win the KNVB Cup and finish second in the Eredivisie, Branthwaite has continued his upward trajectory since his return to Merseyside.

While he had to be patient in the early part of the campaign,, having been forced to settle for a berth on the bench in the opening four Premier League games of 2023-24, it's not a coincidence that Sean Dyche's side have accrued 14 points and moved up to 14th in the table since he broke his way into the starting line-up. Branthwaite has been nigh-on impeccable in the rearguard. The only real error he's made was fouling Eberechi Ezi to concede a penalty in last weekend's 3-2 win at Crystal Palace - and even that wasn't a stonewall decision.

In the past, Manchester United and even Merseyside derby rivals Liverpool have been linked with the 21-year-old. According to FootballTransfers, Newcastle United are now keen on Branthwaite, with Toon boss Eddie Howe wanting to make a swoop in the January transfer window.

Yet the former Carlisle centre-half, who arrived at Goodison for a reported fee of just £1 million in January 2020, is happy on Merseyside if his recent comments are anything to go by.

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It was only last month that Branthwaite signed a new four-year contract at Everton. And he showed the utmost gratitude to the Blues when discussing his new deal.

He told the club's website: “The stature of the club, how much of a family it is at Everton and how I just love playing here in front of the fans were key reasons for me signing. To sign this new contract was to show the commitment I have for the club and show how much it means to me to play for Everton.

“Since I joined, I’ve felt a connection with the club. The fans have been really good with me. For the first game I played, the cheer I got when my name was read out just gave me massive confidence to go out there and play my best game.

“Since I got in the team, the fans have shown me real support and that gives me confidence, especially for a young player. I can’t thank them enough.

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When the manager and Kevin Thelwell have full confidence in you, it makes you feel like you’re welcome here and I know I can go on the pitch when the manager puts me out there and he has full belief in me. It’s a massive factor in signing the contract.

“In the games I’ve had, I’ve given everything I’ve got and performed to a good level. I think once the points start coming our way which our performances have deserved more from, we can push up the table as well.”