Everton Football Club has been hit by another injury blow, with Jarrad Branthwaite withdrawing from the England under-21s squad. This development was reported by Ian Abrahams, a talkSPORT journalist, who shared the news via Twitter on Wednesday, writes the Everton.News.
Branthwaite, a 21-year-old defender, had recently earned a spot in the starting lineup under Everton’s manager, Sean Dyche, for the past two Premier League matches. This opportunity came after his return from a loan spell at PSV Eindhoven last season, highlighting his growing importance to the team.
Everton has been grappling with a series of injuries this season, particularly in the attacking department. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s return was curtailed by a fractured cheekbone sustained at Aston Villa. Dwight McNeil and Alex Iwobi have also faced injuries, leaving the squad stretched thin on the wings, even as Jack Harrison arrived from Leeds with an injury of his own.
In addition to these woes, Dele Alli and Seamus Coleman are unavailable following surgeries earlier this year, while Michael Keane, Lewis Dobbin, and James Tarkowski are currently nursing doubts regarding their fitness.
Jarrad Branthwaite’s emergence into the first-team lineup was a timely development, especially given Michael Keane’s inconsistent form. However, the severity of Branthwaite’s latest injury remains uncertain, and Everton might have to make contingency plans accordingly.
Ben Godfrey, who replaced James Tarkowski in the previous match after Tarkowski took a close-range shot to the head in the 2-2 draw against Sheffield United, appears to be the most likely candidate to fill the defensive void. Nevertheless, Everton faces challenges due to a relatively small squad and difficulties in making new signings during the summer transfer window. A lengthy injury list is the last thing Everton needs as it navigates through the challenges of the season at Goodison Park.