Why Rangers must sign Jarrad Branthwaite for the future
According to The Scottish Sun, Rangers are targeting Carlisle United youngster Jarrad Branthwaite along with Leicester City and Celtic.
Branthwaite, 17, came through the ranks of Carlisle United’s youth system and was promoted to the first team back in February this year. The report suggests that he was being watched by the Old Firms on several occasions after breaking through at Brunton Park.
He has been impressive so far this season and has featured in 9 games so far for the Cumbrians. And by this time, he has featured for 90 minutes in each of the games, except in the 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient in League Two and helped the team keep a clean sheet in two of those.
The teenager is capable to play on both sides of the central defence and his presence is considered to be massive for any team. At 6ft 4in, Branthwaite is already seen as a centre-back for the future.
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard’s side are currently 2nd in the Scottish Premiership table. They have got some good centre-backs in their ranks and the whole team seems to be together as a knit unit under the manager.
Defenders Nikola Katic, Conor Goldson have so far done their part well whereas, Filip Helander has been out of the out for a quite some time during to a knock he received earlier. Only George Edmundson has lacked game time due to his inconsistency and illness.
Despite having some good defenders, the Gers must keep their pursuit on for the youngster.
If they manage to lure him to the Ibrox in January it would be of great help for the team later on. He could be given his chances slowly in the place of their injured centre-backs, though it might be impossible to make him play right from the start.
There would be another option of selling him on loan to other lower league teams and a player of his quality needs to be playing anywhere possible instead of sitting on the bench.
If he continues to grow under the tutelage of the former Liverpool legend and take great strides in his development with the club, he could go on to achieve wonders at a very young age, just like John Fleck and Tom Walsh, both of them who made their debut for the Light Blues while they were teenagers.
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Meanwhile, Football Insider (h/t The Scottish Sun) has claimed that Brendan Rodgers has taken the lead and is confident of sealing a deal for the youngster in January.
Therefore, if the Gers manage to secure his services before the others, he could go on to represent Rangers in the long run.