'Very surprised...' - Everton boss backs Jarrad Branthwaite following shock award omission

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Young Player of the Year: The Everton boss was surprised one of his stars wasn’t included in the annual awards nominees.

Everton boss Sean Dyche was baffled by the omission from the Premier League not to include Jarrad Branthwaite among the nominees for the young player of the year award.

The annual award nominees are revealed in the final knockings of the season each year, releasing eight players for the Men’s Player of the Year, eight for the Young Player of the Year award as well as five managerial candidates. The young players are: Erling Haaland, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Cole Palmer, Destiny Udogie, Alexander Isak, Kobbie Mainoo and William Saliba.

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Despite some claims that Dyche deserved to be in among the nominees for manager of the year after keeping Everton in the Premier League - while fighting against points deductions and financial turmoil - some believe, including himself, that the real glaring omission is Branthwaite.

“Nothing surprises me in football anymore.” Dyche began at his press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Sheffield United this weekend. “Awards I can never fathom on any level in football, I’m very surprised that he hasn’t been considered.

“Awards are nice for any player but at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure he knows where he’s at and is looking forward to what comes next and I don’t think an award is going to change that.”

LiverpoolWorld verdict

The format of the award does need rehashing because the likes of Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka have all been fully-fledged superstars for multiple years which means there is no real ‘young breakthrough’ award at stake here. Plus, the age limit being 23 attests to this. It means players like Branthwaite, Adam Wharton, Jarell Quansah, Harvey Elliott and Alejandro Garnacho all don’t get the recognition they deserve.

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Branthwaite ranking in amongst the best young defenders in Europe for defensive duels and helping Everton to register the fourth best in the Premier League in his first season - which also included an England call-up and a £80m price tag valuation - is simply an incredible debut campaign.

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