Everton manager Sean Dyche has to start centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite ahead of Michael Keane against Aston Villa this weekend.

The Toffees travel for a tricky fixture at Villa Park following a 1-0 opening day defeat to Fulham, and Dyche has to play the ‘terrific’ Branthwaite ahead of Michael Keane.

Leicester City v Everton FC - Premier League
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The £30m Keane has been at Goodison Park for six years now and his consistent defensive lapses during that time have contributed to Everton’s decline.

Indeed, while the former Burnley player has failed to take his chance at Everton, 21-year-old Branthwaite may be the future of the club and could develop well under Sean Dyche.

Branthwaite could be the future at Everton, Keane has had his chance

Jarrad Branthwaite excelled during last season’s loan spell at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, picking up the KNVB Cup during his time in the Netherlands.

Returning to Merseyside after international triumph with England’s U-21’s, who lifted the European Championships trophy earlier this summer, the young defender impressed during Everton’s pre-season, putting in a stellar display against Sporting CP.

Such has been the young defender’s impact, he has caught the eye of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, who has been linked with an approach for the Carlisle-born centre-back.

However, Everton must retain the defender and start him alongside vice-captain James Tarkowski, with whom he could develop a formidable partnership.

England v Spain - UEFA Under-21 Euro 2023 Final
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Indeed, Branthwaite could learn from the experienced centre-back, who would no doubt relish the opportunity to help develop such a prodigious talent.

Keane has consistently been poor for the Blues and going into yet another campaign with such an error-prone defender feels like a lesson Everton are yet to learn from.

The 30-year-old was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet on Saturday, with Stuart Attwell inexplicably blowing for a foul before Keane’s effort crossed the line.

However, if Everton are to work their way out of their recent decline, the club must focus on the future and resign costly mistakes to the past.

With that in mind, Sean Dyche has to start the ‘terrific’ Branthwaite ahead of Michael Keane this weekend.

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