Carlisle United Football Club can confirm that defender Jarrad Branthwaite has today joined Premier League giants Everton for a substantial fee (with future success and performance related clauses) following a period of increased interest in the young centre back from a number of top-flight clubs.
Branthwaite, who became United’s youngest ever goal scorer when he netted in the Leasing.com Trophy group game for the Blues at Morecambe in November, burst onto the scene with some assured performances for the reserve team last season and signed his first professional deal at the tender age of 16.
A local-lad, he joined the club’s academy system as an eight-year-old and emerged to make 14 first-team appearances this season, which included that record-making goal at the Globe Arena.
The tall, imposing and versatile teenager was offered a new and much-improved three-year deal by the Cumbrians midway through November as we looked to secure his services over the long-term. This was declined, with interest from clubs at the upper end of the football pyramid already high.
Director of football David Holdsworth said: “I think everybody knows how highly we rate Jarrad, and that’s exactly why we moved quickly to offer him a new and improved three-year contract before Christmas, just eight months after he’d signed his first ever professional deal.
“Ideally this fantastic young man would still be our player, but I think everyone will appreciate and understand that it can become very difficult for the individual when clubs at the highest level – some of the biggest clubs in the country – come calling and showing an interest in your services.
“We did what we could, but we have to respect the wishes of the player, his family and those who advise him. Once it becomes apparent that a player does want to move, all you can then do is work hard to get the best possible deal for the club.
“It is an excellent deal for Carlisle United in terms of the financial aspects, both now and in the future, and Everton are getting a young man who we think will make a big impact.
“I’m sure we all wish Jarrad the very best as he makes this move to Everton and the Premier League.”
This deal remains subject to the clearance of all necessary paperwork.