Everton have a 20-year-old gem on their hands in centre-half Jarrad Branthwaite, according to Leeds United star Charlie Creswell.

Creswell says the Everton defender is a ‘really good player’ as the two link up for international duty with the England U21 squad.

Indeed, the Young Lions will be competing in the UEFA Under-21 European Championship this summer in Georgia and Romania.

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Speaking with the official England website, Creswell said of Everton’s Branthwaite: “This is Jarrad’s first camp with us (after injury ruled him out after March’s call-up).

He’s a really nice guy and a really good player. I’ve known him since I was younger as we were in the MU19s together. A big, commanding and strong centre half.”

Branthwaite could be key player for turbulent Everton next season

Indeed, Jarrad Branthwaite returns to Everton with big expectations following a successful loan spell at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven last season.

A place in Sean Dyche’s first team next season is not out of the question, with Yerry Mina departing the club on a free transfer, and Conor Coady’s loan deal expiring, there will be a reshuffle at the back.

However, Everton retain experience in defence such as James Tarkowski, who could be invaluable in assisting in the development on the ‘commanding’ defender.

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The Toffees will hope for a breakthrough year for the 20-year-old and such a cost-effective talent could set the benchmark for Everton’s recruitment.

Branthwaite joined the Blues in 2020 from Carlisle in a £750,000 deal, but should he establish himself as a Premier League centre-half, no doubt his value will skyrocket.

Everton are in a period of transition, both on and off the pitch, and Branthwaite could be ready for Premier League football at just the right time, with it as of yet unknown just how much the club will have to spend this summer.

Everton could have a real player on their hands next season.

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