Late last week, the fee for Newcastle youth target Jarrad Branthwaite was said to be £800k. While that is significant for a player so young, it could turn out to be a bargain if he can reach his full potential.
The 17-year-old has established himself as one of Carlisle’s center-back pairings this season while being scouted by many Premier League clubs as well as Celtic and Rangers.
Former Carlisle manager Steven Pressley had some high praise for the 6’4″ defender, and he thinks Branthwaite would be a steal at his current value. The News and Star have published the following comments from Pressley.
“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 international. No question about it. That’s how highly I rate him. He’ll go to the very top of the game.”
Newcastle had the right of first refusal for Branthwaite through the loan deal for Elias Sorensen. Though with Sorensen’s loan deal since being terminated, we doubt Newcastle would still have the right to match any bid for the young defender.
Everton reportedly had a bid of £500k plus add-ons rejected last week. It was then that his value of £800k was reportedly set.
We think Branthwaite would be a terrific signing for the Academy. He’s English and seems to have a very bright future ahead of him.
However, Newcastle have bigger priorities at the moment as we attempt to resolve the striker situation, which was not satisfactorily addressed in the summer.
Though with money available for Academy signings, we hope to see several players brought in this month. There were reports in December that Newcastle had signed Queens Park’s Reagan Thomson.
However, we have yet to hear anything official on the 16-year-old. Though the Chronicle reported yesterday that the signing is in progress and getting close to being completed.