Earlier this month, Everton formally signed 17-year-old prodigy Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle United on a two-and-a-half-year bargain and he’ll play for the Blues’ U23 squad for now. Branthwaite joined the Toffees following a dazzling breakthrough effort together with his former club at which the centre-back made a total of 13 senior appearances. The youngster was in such high demand that the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City as well as some other European titans were knocking on his door and attempting to land his signature. And if this does not emphasise the size of the talent the Toffees have scooped up, the remarks of former Celtic defender Steven Pressley, who handled the teenager in Carlisle during his time, are bound to do the trick. According to The Herald, Pressley had this to say about the defender –

“Whatever they pay for him just now, they will make 20 times that down the line. He’s that good. He’s got everything you need to be a top defender. He’s six foot four, he’s quick, and he can absolutely play. You wouldn’t know what foot is his preferred one really, because he’s so comfortable on the ball.

“For me, he is a future England internationalist. No question about it. That’s how highly I rate him. He’ll go to the very top of the game.”

His voice fell on deaf ears, although the international urged his former team to pounce on the signature of Braithwaite before his move to Goodison Park. By the looks of this, the adolescent is kept in high regard and Everton could be glad they were able to beat the aforementioned clubs to his signature. Of course, now comes the part where we see if he can actually fulfill the hype and be a star of the future. But judging by Pressley’s words, he has the talent to become the upcoming big thing in Everton.