Jarrad Branthwaite has not played much for Everton this season after making his first team debut under Carlo Ancelotti, but with his current contract coming to an end at the end of this campaign, the club have decided to hand him a new deal.
The 19-year-old central defender has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the option of an additional year after that, which keeps him with the Blues until June 2025.
In all Branthwaite has made six first team appearances, including starting one game this season, the Carabao Cup Second Round win against Huddersfield Town. He has been on the bench for 11 league games this season, but with Yerry Mina’s spotty injury history Mason Holgate has usually been the first preference off the bench.
After being put through the wringer on his league debut last season against Wolves, he has settled in a bit more and has looked composed whenever he has had the chance to play.
Speaking to evertontv after signing the deal, Branthwaite thanked the club for keeping faith in him.
“It feels like Everton have full belief in me so I have to show them what I can do. I am buzzing to get the deal done and commit my future to the Club. The way Everton have treated me and the pathway I can see are why I was eager to stay longer.
“The games I’ve had show there is a place for me in the side. Playing for Everton’s First Team is a massive honour. I want more so I have to prove I am good enough to be there and keep progressing.
“My main objective is to play as many games as possible and help the team.
“The manager is very good with me. Every day, he is talking to me, helping me with what I need to develop, doing little things after training.
“We are working on my right foot and my passing and the agility side, moving my feet quicker, so I can defend better in one-on-one situations. He has been brilliant.”
The defender was signed as a 17-year-old during the January 2020 transfer window for about £1 million from League Two Carlisle United, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Blackburn Rovers in the Championship where he played ten games before an ankle injury ended his season.
Securing Branthwaite’s future is a good move for the club as they look to add reinforcements to what has been a pretty threadbare squad this season.