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Everton pleased with development of Jarrad Branthwaite during curtailed Blackburn Rovers loan spell

According to Lancs Live, Everton were relatively pleased with the development made by Jarrad Branthwaite during his curtailed loan spell with Blackburn Rovers.

The centre-half moved to Ewood Park during the winter transfer window but struggled to gain regular action under Tony Mowbray by the end of the season despite an early flourish.

Branthwaite opened the first nine Championship fixtures available to him before being taken out of the side in March in line with a run of five defeats in six, and would only play a further 90 minutes.

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Branthwaite’s campaign was cut short in April after sustaining an ankle ligament injury that would require surgery (Lancashire Telegraph), which saw that he returned to Finch Farm to begin his rehabilitation.

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Nonetheless, Everton are understood to be content with what progress they saw from the 18-year-old at Ewood Park, as he gained valuable first-team experience after being held to only one senior outing with the Toffees this term after an ankle injury (Liverpool Echo).

The imposing 6 ft 4 youngster also caught the eye of Manchester United earlier in the year (Daily Mail) with his impressive early efforts at Blackburn, where Mowbray claimed he had a ‘remarkable’ debut for a player of his age.

Branthwaite could not maintain that level, though, with Mowbray later suggesting he was made to look ‘uncomfortable’ by Preston North End striker Ched Evans, but still praised his ability to do ‘what it says on the tin’.

TBR’s view:

Branthwaite will have learnt a lot from his time at Blackburn, from the ups of impressing on his debut to the lows of being torn apart by Evans who caused several defensive mix-ups between the Everton loanee and Rovers teammate Darragh Lenihan.

Having low moments as well as good ones will be more beneficial in the long run for the 18-year-old, though, as it shows Everton and Branthwaite where he still needs to improve and what areas Carlo Ancelotti has to address upon the defender’s return to fitness.

It could easily have emerged as a red herring had Branthwaite taken to the Championship like a seasoned professional and never suffered a dip in form, while his injury ensured he could not bounce back in the final stages of the season to impress Everton even more.

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