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Gaffer thrilled to seal Branthwaite deal

“He was somebody we were aware of when he was at Carlisle and he’s someone who I've watched and who I like"

14 January 2021

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Tony Mowbray believes Jarrad Branthwaite ticks plenty of boxes for what he wants in a modern day central defender.

As a centre back himself during his own playing days, Mowbray knows exactly what's needed at the heart of defence.

With Daniel Ayala joining the long-term absentees of Derrick Williams and Scott Wharton on the sidelines, Bradley Johnson has recently been forced to fill in.

But with the window now open and Rovers light on the ground in the position, Mowbray's made his move to draft in the talented teenage starlet from Premier League high-flyers Everton.

“He was somebody we were aware of when he was at Carlisle and he’s someone who I've watched and who I like," Mowbray revealed to iFollow Rovers.

“We’re three centre halves down with Wharton, Williams and Ayala all unavailable and it’s an area where we need to balance off.

“It’s not really fair on the team to expect Bradley Johnson to slot into the left centre half spot and for him to know the role inside-out.

“It’s been the first time he’s ever played there, so centre back was a position we were in the market for.

“Jarrad is a young boy who I really like and saw play against our Under-23s recently as well."

Mowbray sees Branthwaite as a similar sort of defender to Tosin Adarabioyo, who excelled during his season-long loan deal at Ewood Park last season.

And he's hopeful that the highly-rated Branthwaite can have a similar impact during his own spell in East Lancashire.

“Everton see him as a young boy who can be a big player for them somewhere down the line," Mowbray added.

"But these youngsters need experience and need to play in a team where the manager is shouting at them and moaning.

“Jarrad’s got some experience at Carlisle, and it was a fantastic breeding ground for him to go and play in League Two and to test himself against physical strikers.

“He went to the Premier League and has played against the brains and the cuteness in that league as well.

“He can distribute the ball from the back and is very powerful. His mobility is good and he’s really smooth as well," the boss analysed.

“The attributes he possesses suggests to me that he will help us.

“I think he’ll be fine for us, but the proof of the pudding is him forcing his way into the team and seeing how he gets on."

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