Earlier this month, Everton officially signed 17-year-old prodigy Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle United on a two-and-a-half-year deal and he will play with the Blues’ U23 team for the time being.
Branthwaite joined the Toffees after a brilliant breakthrough campaign with his former club where the centre-back made a total of 13 senior appearances.
The youngster was in such high demand that the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and even some other European titans were knocking on his door and trying to land his signature.
And if that doesn’t emphasise the size of the talent the Toffees have scooped up, the comments of former Celtic defender Steven Pressley, who managed the teenager during his time at Carlisle, are bound to do the trick.
The ex-Scotland international urged his former club to pounce on Braithwaite’s signature prior to his move to Goodison Park, but his words ultimately fell on deaf ears.
Here’s what he said, as was quoted by The Herald:
“Whatever they pay for him just now, they will make 20 times that down the line. He’s that good. He’s got everything you need to be a top defender. He’s six foot four, he’s quick, and he can absolutely play. You wouldn’t know what foot is his preferred one really, because he’s so comfortable on the ball.
“For me, he is a future England internationalist. No question about it. That’s how highly I rate him. He’ll go to the very top of the game.”
By the looks of it, the teenager is held in high regard and Everton can be happy they managed to beat the aforementioned clubs to his signature.
Of course, now comes the part where we see if he can actually live up to the hype and become a star of the future.
But judging by Pressley’s words he definitely has the talent to become the next big thing at Everton.