Everton have had an awful 2021/22 campaign thus far – with the Toffees embroiled in a tough relegation battle, and Frank Lampard trying everything he can to keep the club from dropping into the Championship next season.
Many players have already been linked with moves away from Goodison Park following their disappointing campaign in the Premier League, with Richarlison, in particular, heavily speculated to leave the club this summer.
With that being said, the Toffees boss must exercise some damage control when it comes to keeping the team together – no matter the outcome at the end of the season – and now another player is reportedly being lined up for a move away from the club.
The Daily Mail reported this week that Manchester United are targeting the Everton centre-back for a move to Old Trafford, with the youngster catching the eye of the 20-time Premier League title winners.
The 19-year-old has made just six appearances for the senior team across all competitions this term, with his most notable performance coming in his first Premier League outing of 2021/22 – scoring in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge under Rafa Benitez.
Branthwaite was hailed “fabulous” by Glen Hoddle following this display, and Benitez was also full of praise for the young defender, stating: “He showed character and he’s a player who has potential. Always with the young players, you have to be careful but you have to give them a chance if it is possible.”
Since Frank Lampard has taken over from the Spaniard, Branthwaite has been given three opportunities to prove he has what it takes to compete for a spot in the Everton backline, and his defensive statistics speak for themselves.
The 6ft5 tank has understandably used his height to impose himself on opponents, winning 67% of his aerial duels, as well as making an average of 3.3 clearances and 0.8 tackles per game.
He has also averaged an 81% pass accuracy inside his half, proving he can be a threat and offer presence for the Toffees.
Ultimately, Lampard must avoid a disaster in losing the £5.1k-per-week defender this summer, as sanctioning the sale of one of the club’s most promising up and coming talents may well be a decision that the Goodison Parkfaith never forgive the 43-year-old for.