Former footballer and talkSport pundit Jamie O’Hara has highlighted Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite’s potential, suggesting that top teams in the Premier League will be keeping a close eye on the 21-year-old, despite his recent mistake against Crystal Palace, relays the Goodison.News.
In the Toffees’ 3-2 victory over Roy Hodgson’s side, Branthwaite conceded a penalty, causing a momentary setback. However, goals from Vitalii Mykolenko, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Idrissa Gueye ensured Everton secured the win.
O’Hara, quick to acknowledge Branthwaite’s error, praised the young defender’s overall performance during the talkSport broadcast, stating, “He made a mistake today to give away a penalty, but I’m a massive fan of his, I think he’s a young up-and-coming, a real good star.”
Highlighting the solidity of Everton’s team and likening them to a Sean Dyche side, O’Hara emphasized the importance of securing Branthwaite on a long-term deal. He added, “They need to get him signed up on a long-term deal because there are going to be teams sniffing around him at the end of the season.”
Despite O’Hara’s oversight regarding Branthwaite’s recent contract extension until 2027, the pundit’s sentiments hold true. Acknowledging that one mistake does not define a player, O’Hara pointed out that defensive partner James Tarkowski also faced challenges during the match.
Branthwaite had the formidable task of containing Palace’s Eberechi Eze, known for his electric footwork and technical ability. Despite the error, Branthwaite won five of his eight duels in the match and was only dribbled past once, showcasing a commendable defensive performance.
Everton’s proactive move to secure Branthwaite’s future on Merseyside reflects the club’s commitment to retaining promising talents. Should top-tier teams express interest in the defender, it is anticipated that any potential transfer would require a substantial fee, considering Branthwaite’s promising potential and recent contract extension.