Newcastle have been linked with Carlisle teenager Jarrad Branthwaite over the past few weeks. According to reports, the club have the right of first refusal for the 17-year-old center-back.
It was reported last week that as part of the loan deal for Elias Sorensen, Newcastle have first dibs on the impressive youngster.
Even if that’s the case, it hasn’t stopped several English and Scottish clubs from checking out Branthwaite recently.
— Scouts in Attendance (@scoutsattending) December 9, 2019
New Carlisle manager Chris Beech has spoken about how all of this attention has affected his young defender. The Scottish Sun have published the following comments from Beech:
“The speculation is a challenge for him. I don’t think it’s my job to talk about how hard it will be to keep him – I think it’s the club’s.
“They’ve got to do what’s best for everybody and everything. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. It’s very difficult for him to deal with that as a player.”
Branthwaite, who has become one of the first names on the teamsheet at Carlisle, is valued at around £1m. He looks to have the potential to be a quality Premier League defender.
At 6’4″, he’s got the physique to play in England’s first-tier as well as being able to pick a pass from the back.
From Beech’s comments, it appears as though the interest in the player is genuine. If it’s preying on the youngster’s mind, then it does not appear to be affecting his play.
This is what Beech had to say about his defender coming back into the team this past weekend after being out with a virus:
“At the weekend, I had the choice, I could bring him back in the squad and sit him on the bench, or get him back on the pitch. I wanted him on the pitch.
“I felt Jarrad has the ability to pass and switch play. We didn’t use him enough.
“But he won all his headers, did an immense, strong tackle in the first half, and was excellent in terms of having a go at what he was trying to achieve.
“Jarrad, I’ve seen him now for about 10 days, and I’ve coached a lot of very good young players, but he is excellent.
“I had Dale Stephens at 17, he plays Premier League football for Brighton now. And Jarrad is definitely better than Dale at the same age.”
That’s pretty high praise for the Carlisle born youngster. We hope Newcastle do have the right of first refusal as Branthwaite looks like he could be a quality addition to the Academy.
In other related news, Elias Sorensen has started for the Carlisle reserves in the Central League Cup this afternoon.
The team to face @LaticsOfficial under-23s in the Central League Cup this afternoon: Gray (c), Barnes, Birch, Sagaf, Wilson, Lightfoot, Elliott, Sorensen, Armstrong,Olomola, Charters. Subs – Kerr, Soper, Major #cufc
— Carlisle United FC (@officialcufc) December 11, 2019