Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe believes there is little doubt young defender Jarrad Branthwaite is going in the right direction, but is keen to reserve judgement until he has seen more of him.

Branthwaite has featured prominently after the season resumed post the unscheduled break, with the Toffees experiencing a mixed bag of results.  


The Toffees beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane on Monday, with Branthwaite featuring for the full 90 minutes, and he has won praise from manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Everton great Ratcliffe does think that the youngster is progressing in the right direction, but admits he is keen to judge him over a longer period of games.

Ratcliffe feels Branthwaite playing at all though at the age of 18 shows just how highly Ancelotti regards him.

“The one thing is that you never judge people on one or two appearances”, Ratcliffe told The Athletic.

“You need 20 or more before making a judgement. He’s definitely going in the right direction though.

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“I’ve not seen many centre-backs playing at just over 18 in the Premier League, so they must think highly of him. Usually, you come in at 21 or 22.

“It’s a lot to ask for a centre-back — even more so now. I still think Mason [Holgate] and [Michael] Keane are your first two.

“You come in, do a job, come back out, go back in, just so there’s not too much pressure. By the age of 20 or 21, you’re ready to go then.”

Branthwaite has made three Premier League appearances for the Toffees so far this season.