Everton might have to turn to £1m Jarrad Branthwaite amid defensive trouble
Everton could find themselves slightly short in the centre-back position once Premier League football gets back underway.
Yerry Mina has suffered a thigh tear and is unlikely to feature again this season.
It will leave just Mason Holgate and Michael Keane as centre-back options for the Toffees.
The club failed to bring in a new defender last summer and that is now looking costly.
Currently loaned out players such as Matthew Pennington and Lewis Gibson are unlikely to be available whilst another centre-back option, Morgan Feeney, has been told he will be released at the end of the month.
So how could Everton go forward in this situation?
It could be the perfect opportunity for Everton to give a first-team chance to January recruit Jarrad Branthwaite.
Branthwaite arrived from Carlisle United in the winter, with the Daily Mail suggesting he cost the club a figure in the region of £1 million.
Since then the 17-year-old has already caught the eye of first-team boss Carlo Ancelotti.
He has regularly trained with the Everton first-team and has been a part of the preparations since Everton returned to football after the recent lockdown.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Branthwaite has been training with the first-team at Finch Farm and the teenager is suddenly looking like Everton’s next best option at the heart of defence.
It could be a perfect opportunity for Branthwaite to show his worth early to Ancelotti and perhaps demonstrate his future ability to be a regular Everton first-teamer.