March 3, 2024
Jarrad Branthwaite

Jarrad Branthwaite

Everton’s defense might boldly replace Joel Matip…

After PSV considered the on-loan ace too expensive, Liverpool might now be in pole position to launch an audacious raid for Jarrad Branthwaite.

It would undoubtedly send shivers through the city, with Abel Xavier in 2002 being the most recent example of a player transferring directly across Merseyside to the historic rivals, but that doesn’t mean a move is out of reach for Jurgen Klopp‘s side as he attempts to reinforce his defense this summer.

Jarrad Branthwaite
Jarrad Branthwaite

The Daily Mail reported in February that Liverpool, along with Manchester United and Roma, had dispatched scouts to watch the Eredivisie star in action after his strong performances on loan this season.

According to Eindhovens Dagblad (via Sport Witness), PSV have dropped out of the running to make his move permanent, with Marcel Brands, the Eredivisie club’s director of football, saying: “Financially this will be difficult to achieve, I expect.”

PSV had a £15 million deal rejected in January, but Liverpool has vast cash and might test Everton‘s resolve with a surprise approach in the coming weeks.

Could Jarrad Branthwaite actually join Liverpool?
It is implausible on the surface, but while it hasn’t happened in a long time, it isn’t unheard of for the Reds and Toffees to do business in the past.
And it makes sense from a tactical standpoint; Branthwaite is a towering 6 foot 5 defender, and given his natural preference as a left-footed defender, he could provide a solid alternative to Virgil van Dijk, who prefers his right foot but typically occupies the left side of the center-defence.

With 37 appearances across all competitions this season, scoring four goals and providing two assists, the 20-year-old has been dubbed a “great talent” by ex-boss Ruud van Nistelrooy and possesses all the attributes to thrive at the top level as he matures over the next few years.

Coady-Gakpo
Coady-Gakpo

According to FBref, the £15k-per-week behemoth ranks among the top 15% of centre-backs in Men’s Next 8 divisions for goals, the top 24% for assists, the top 25% for progressive passes, and the top 26% for rate of interceptions per 90 over the previous year. So, while there is obviously space for development, he has plenty of time to become one of the best in his position.

Carlo Ancelotti described him as “skillful,” and he might replace Joel Matip at Anfield, with the Cameroonian veteran now 31 years old and out of contract on Merseyside in only one year.

Despite playing a significant role in Liverpool’s historic history, Matip started just 12 Premier League games this season and was an unused replacement in 13 of the final 17 games.

Klopp's
Klopp’s

Matip’s time may be up after being labeled “awful” by CBS reporter Nico Cantor for his poor performances this season, and Branthwaite might give youthful energy as a promising back-up for Klopp’s club, growing into the role and perhaps solidifying it as his own at some point over the coming several seasons.

It may appear implausible, but this is a deal to keep an eye on; Liverpool would obviously prioritize reinforcing the midfield, but if the cogs fall into place, Branthwaite might be a wise pick to bolster Anfield’s defensive ranks.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

topfootballnews