Revealed: Never-seen Everton teen set for first XI after Ancelotti blown away
Everton are set to hand teenage January signing Jarrad Branthwaite a first-team promotion after Yerry Mina’s injury blow, Football Insider understands.
The Merseysiders announced last week the Colombia international is set to miss the restart of the Premier League season after picking up a thigh tear in training.
An Everton source has told Football Insider that Branthwaite has been training with the first team and impressed Carlo Ancelotti with his efforts as the chances grow he will be named in their matchday squad for the first time.
The manager is ready to promote him to the first-team squad when the matches resume later this month as back-up to Mason Holgate and Michael Keane.
The duo are the only senior fit centre-backs in the Everton squad after they decided to make do without replacing 2018-19 loanee Kurt Zouma last summer.
Losing Mina is a devastating blow – he has started 23 of their 29 Premier League games this season – but there is hope he will be fit for the final matches of this campaign.
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Branthwaite was signed from Carlisle United in January for an initial fee of £750,000 after the Merseysiders saw off rival interest from Leicester City, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Scottish duo Celtic and Rangers.
Everton’s plan was for the 6ft 4in teenager, who does not turn 18 until the end of June, to initially link up with David Unsworth’s Under-23s side.
The defender, who made 14 senior appearances for Carlisle in the first half of this season, is now in line for his first taste of first-team football at the Premier League big hitters.
In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that the club are within hours of finalising transfer for 7-figure fee after he underwent medical.