HomeEPL - TeamsEvertonReport: Man United's Top Target from Everton for Defence

Report: Man United’s Top Target from Everton for Defence

Jarrad Branthwaite: The Ideal Fit for Manchester United

Manchester United’s pursuit of Jarrad Branthwaite from Everton is more than just a transfer rumour; it is a strategic move to strengthen their defence. Known for his two-footed abilities and impressive duel-winning stats, Branthwaite stands out as a prime candidate for United’s backline.

Branthwaite’s Two-Footed Mastery

Branthwaite’s versatility is a significant asset. Predominantly left-footed, he is comfortable on the ball and capable of playing out from the back. His ability to use both feet effectively was highlighted during his loan spell at PSV Eindhoven. “Touches he has on the left and right in the build-up,” noted Ruud van Nistelrooy, PSV’s head coach during Branthwaite’s time there, emphasizing his development.

A remarkable aspect of Branthwaite’s game is his proficiency with his weaker foot. “I’ve got a five-star weak foot on the new FIFA,” Branthwaite proudly told Everton’s official website. This ambipedal capability makes him a flexible option for any defensive role, a quality Manchester United finds highly appealing.

Photo: IMAGO

Strength in Duels

Branthwaite’s ability to win duels is another reason for his appeal. Defined by Opta as 50-50 contests, Branthwaite excelled last season, boasting a success rate of 67.7%. This places him among the top Premier League defenders in this category, just behind Raphael Varane and ahead of Harry Maguire.

Van Nistelrooy praised Branthwaite’s duel-winning ability, which is crucial for the transitional style of play preferred by Erik ten Hag. This style relies heavily on defenders winning their battles to regain possession quickly. Branthwaite’s dominance in these situations makes him a valuable asset for United.

The Need for Right-Sided Defensive Strength

While United already have a left-footed centre-back in Lisandro Martinez, Branthwaite’s ability to play on the right side is crucial. During his time at PSV, he adeptly switched sides depending on his partner, showcasing his adaptability. This versatility addresses United’s need to strengthen the right side of their defence without compromising their build-up play.

Ten Hag’s confidence in playing centre-backs on their weaker side further supports Branthwaite’s potential role at Old Trafford. The manager’s preference for a fluid build-up play can be effectively maintained with Branthwaite’s two-footedness, whether he partners Martinez or any other defender.

Financial Considerations

Everton values Branthwaite highly, comparing his potential sale to high-profile transfers like Harry Maguire and Josko Gvardiol. United’s initial offer of £35 million was rejected, with Everton holding out for a fee closer to £75 million. Everton’s financial situation and compliance with Premier League profitability and sustainability regulations might influence the final deal, but the club is cautious about a cut-price sale.

United, operating on a tighter budget this summer, may need to make significant sales to accommodate Branthwaite’s transfer. However, the investment is seen as necessary, given Branthwaite’s profile and potential impact on the team.

Jarrad Branthwaite’s two-footed ability, duel-winning prowess, and versatility make him an ideal candidate for Manchester United’s defence. While the financial aspect of the transfer poses challenges, Branthwaite’s addition would significantly strengthen United’s backline, providing both immediate and long-term benefits.

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