PSV Eindhoven manager Ruud van Nistelrooy has claimed that reported Liverpool target Jarrad Branthwaite is the ‘complete’ defender.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for the on-loan Everton youngster. And speaking via TalkSPORT after Branthwaite scored twice for PSV last night, Van Nistelrooy raved about the 20-year-old.
“He is a great talent. The boy is 20, but he has a future,” said the former Manchester United striker. “He is good on the ball, can play on the left or the right of centre-back because he is two-footed. He has height and speed, so he is very complete.”
Sounds good to us! Obviously, Branthwaite has yet to prove himself at the very highest level. But having gone to PSV in search of game time, he’s having the perfect loan spell.
Liverpool scouting Branthwaite
It has emerged this week that Branthwaite is one of the players Liverpool are tracking to bolster their defence.
In light of injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate, the Reds’ issues at the back have been exposed. No longer able to fully rely on either Joel Matip or Joe Gomez, they may start looking at options this summer.
Should they decide to do that, Branthwaite would be an interesting choice.
Hardly a big name in the mould of someone like reported former target Milan Skriniar, the youngster would perhaps be an unfashionable option amongst fans.
His Evertonian past may make things slightly awkward for him if he does move to Anfield, too.
But as per The Daily Mail, these things don’t bother Liverpool. Reportedly attracted to his left-footedness, the Reds are said to be sending scouts to keep tabs on Branthwaite’s progress in the Netherlands.
If those scouts come back with positive reports, perhaps young Jarrad could become the first player to move between the Merseyside clubs since Abel Xavier in 2002.
Everton would surely be keen to block that, though. The Toffees reportedly rejected a £15m offer for Branthwaite from PSV in January [The Daily Mail]. As a result, it seems they’d be looking for past the £20m mark in the summer. Given Van Nistelrooy’s assessment, maybe he’d be worth it.
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