Tottenham Hotspur Eyes Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite for Centre-Back Role
Before the international break, the Lilywhites were facing a defensive dilemma as both Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero, the team’s first-choice combination, had to leave the field against Chelsea.
After a brutal tackle on Enzo Fernandez that earned Romero a three-game suspension, Van van Ven suffered a significant hamstring injury that will keep him out of the lineup until 2024.
Due to the summertime sale of Davinson Sanchez to Galatasaray, along with the loan departures of Joe Rodon to Leeds United and Japhet Tanganga to Augsburg, Ange Postecoglou was forced to start Eric Dier and Ben Davies in the middle of defence against Wolverhampton Wanderers two weekends ago.
Both players seemed to have made the right choices against a wasteful Wolves team, but Spurs lost 2-1 and dropped to fourth place in the Premier League standings after allowing a one-goal lead to evaporate in stoppage time.
Romero still has two games left on his suspension, so unless 18-year-old Ashley Phillips is brought up quickly, Dier and Davies will once more have to fill in against treble winners Manchester City and Champions League-chasing Aston Villa over the coming weeks.
Dier, though, will begin the last half of his contract in the January transfer window. Given Spurs’ defensive predicament, a mid-season transfer is unlikely, but it is generally anticipated that the Englishman will sign a free agency contract at the end of it.
Therefore, adding defensive reinforcements will be Spurs’ top goal in January. Players like Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace, Lloyd Kelly of Bournemouth, and Edmond Tapsoba of Bayer Leverkusen have all been linked to the team.
According to the Daily Mail, Branthwaite, an England Under-21 player and Everton player, is now being considered by Spurs as well because of his stellar season at Goodison Park, where he has established himself as Sean Dyche’s preferred partner for James Tarkowski.
Branthwaite has started 12 of Everton’s last 13 games in all competitions after a fruitful loan stint with PSV Eindhoven in the 2022–23 campaign, where he recorded four goals and two assists in 36 games and won the KNVB-Beker.
Before the international break, the 6′ 4in defender helped Everton win two of their previous three Premier League games and draw the other. He also donned the captain’s armband for England’s Under-21 team during a 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland in the Euro qualifying round.
Though Branthwaite signed a new contract with the Toffees only last October, the 21-year-old’s present terms aren’t set to expire until the summer of 2027, so Everton may negotiate hard with Tottenham.
In order to complete a deal for Branthwaite, who went through the Carlisle United development system before joining Everton in January 2020, Spurs may also need to stave off interest from Manchester United.
Tottenham is also rumoured to be interested in AC Milan’s Malick Thiaw, Benfica’s Morato, and Sporting Lisbon’s Goncalo Inacio. The club is also anticipated to pursue a new winger during the winter.
Even though the Lilywhites were unable to bring in a high-profile striker to take Harry Kane’s place during the summer, it appears that they have no intention of signing another attacker.