Van Nistelrooy says Everton loanee is the ‘complete defender,’ amid interest from Liverpool and Man Utd
PSV Eindhoven manager Ruud van Nistelrooy has claimed Everton loanee Jarrad Branthwaite is the ‘complete’ defender, amid links to Liverpool and Manchester United.
PSV are also interested in making a permanent move for the English centre-back, who has been on loan with them since August.
Branthwaite has gradually become on of Van Nistelrooy’s most important players this season, so it will be interesting to see if the Toffees will entertain bids for him.
So far this season, the 20-year-old has featured 19 times for PSV, helping his side to five clean sheets in the process.
Most recently, Branthwaite put in a fantastic performance in a 3-1 victory against FC Emmen in the KNVB Cup, scoring two goals early on in the match.
In his post-match press conference, Van Nistelrooy spoke very highly of the defender.
He said: “He is a great talent. The boy is 20, but he has a future.”
“He is good on the ball, can play on the left or the right of centre-back because he is two-footed. He has height and speed, so he is very complete.”
As reported by TEAMtalk on Wednesday, Man Utd, Liverpool and Roma have all sent scouts to watch Branthwaite, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him join a top European club next season.
Everton may not be willing to let Branthwaite leave
Despite the interest, the question is whether or not Everton would allow Branthwaite to leave.
They currently have several centre-backs at their disposal, such as Conor Coady, James Tarkowski, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate and Michael Keane.
However, with Holgate and Keane both previously being linked with departures, Branthwaite could possibly have a key role to play under Sean Dyche next season.
Saying that, if the unthinkable happens and the Toffees are relegated to the Championship, they may be forced to sell some of their prized assets and Branthwaite certainly fits into that category.
According to the Daily Mail, Everton rejected a bid of £15m from PSV for Branthwaite’s services, so an offer in excess of that may be required from United or Liverpool to get a deal over the line.
For Liverpool, Branthwaite could prove to be a valuable addition, given that their issues in defence have been exposed this season after injuries to the likes of Ibrahima Konate and Virgil Van Dijk.
Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have also struggled for consistent form, so signing the Englishman could make sense.
If the deal did go through, Branthwaite would be the first Everton player to join Liverpool since Abel Xavier in 2002.
United, on the other hand, could reportedly lose Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof this summer, so the youngster could come in and provide cover for Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.
It remains to be seen whether Everton will allow him to leave, but Branthwaite is certainly a player to watch, with huge potential.
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