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Branthwaite praised

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite has been backed to become a senior England international by one of his former coaches – the man who gave him his debut for Carlisle United.

“Jarrad was just 16 when I first saw him play but he immediately made a big impression on me,” Steven Pressley told Everton’s official website.

“It was about three weeks into my tenure at Carlisle and he was playing in the second team.

“He had so many quality attributes to become a top player. On the back of that one game, I phoned the Director of Football to get him tied up on a longer-term contract, which we did within two or three days.

Jarrad Branthwaite (L) and Duncan Ferguson during the Everton Training Session at USM Finch Farm

“From that moment on, he trained with the first-team every day. I told people he was a future England international.

“Not once from when I gave him his debut did I ever consider leaving him out again, because I felt his performances had been so strong.

“The truth is, I think he has got everything. He can pass the ball almost equally as good with both feet. He’s a terrific footballer.

“And If he continues to develop, then, without doubt, he can be an England player.”