Darren Bent Reveals the ‘Only Issue’ He’s Got with Everton Defender Jarrad Branthwaite

Everton’s resurgence this season can largely be attributed to their newfound defensive solidity. Manager Sean Dyche, upon arrival, identified the backline as needing the most work, and his efforts have transformed it into one of the Premier League’s toughest.

However, a key factor in this success has been the emergence of young defender Jarrad Branthwaite. Handed the reins by Dyche, Branthwaite has been a revelation, drawing praise from many corners.

On talkSPORT on April 29th, Darren Bent and Jamie O’Hara faced questions from listeners. An Everton fan, with a hint of tongue-in-cheek, asked if the 21-year-old Branthwaite could be considered the best defender in Europe.

Bent acknowledged Branthwaite’s impressive performance over the weekend, highlighting his defensive contributions. “He blocked everything, put his body on the line,” Bent said. “Listen, he’s got the potential to be absolutely brilliant.”

However, Bent cautioned against overhype. “My only issue,” he continued, “is it’ll be interesting to see how he fares against better opposition, certainly playing for his country. Him and Tarkowski are great at winning headers, putting their bodies on the line, but when you’ve got to have possession of the ball, move the ball, almost be comfortable in possession and starting team’s attacks…”

While acknowledging Branthwaite’s defensive prowess, Bent believes the true test lies in his ability to perform against tougher opponents and contribute to a more well-rounded style of play.