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Everton may match the Branthwaite steal by signing Godfrey upgrade for £4 million.

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It took just two weeks of pain and suffering but Everton are now firmly outside the relegation zone once more after an emphatic 3-0 victory at home to Newcastle United on Thursday night.

 

In fact, the Toffees have been tremendous throughout the campaign, with a ten-point deduction back in November generating an unfair reflection of the team’s position in the Premier League table.

Everton have now earned more points overall than Chelsea and would be tenth in the top-flight had they not been punished.

One player who has been a rock at the back for the Merseyside club is Jarrad Branthwaite, but with rumours of the centre-back being linked elsewhere, Everton are said to be looking around for a new central defender.

 

Everton transfer news – Jake O’Brien

According to a recent report from Foot Mercato, Everton are keeping tabs on Lyon centre-back Jake O’Brien ahead of the January transfer window.

 

The French outfit are in free-fall at the moment and currently sit rock bottom of Ligue, despite reaching a Champions League semi-final merely three years ago.

 

The Irish defender moved to Les Gones during the summer for around £850k, having previously played for his boyhood club Cork City before joining Crystal Palace.

 

With the Eagles, O’Brien was sent out on loan to Swindon Town and eventually Belgian side RWD Molenbeek before making the switch to the Groupama Stadium, having failed to make a single competitive appearance for Palace at Selhurst Park.

 

Incidentally, O’Brien is Lyon’s joint-top goalscorer with three goals, alongside former
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette, having scored 27% of the team’s goals which is incredible for a centre-back.
Additionally, O’Brien has ranked quite high statistically when compared to all other central defenders from Europe’s top-five leagues.
Jake O’Brien’s stats this season
O’Brien could be the perfect replacement for Branthwaite at Goodison Park as the latter is currently being touted with a move to
Old Trafford ahead of the January transfer window as Erik ten Hag looks to shore up his leaky Manchester United defence.
The rumoured pursuit of O’Brien has similar connotations to the deal which saw Branthwaite move to Merseyside back in 2020 for a mere £1m from then-League Two outfit Carlisle United.
Everton have since bumped up their asking price for the 21-year-old to £25m. Like Branthwaite, O’Brien also has experience in the
English lower leagues, having made 21 appearances for Swindon, and could be available for an incredibly cheap amount, especially with Lyon sitting bottom of France’s top flight.
The Irishman is said to be worth £4m, according to the CIES Football Observatory.
Furthermore, even if Branthwaite was to remain with Everton, O’Brien could provide depth and quality on Sean Dyche’s bench,
particularly with Ben Godfrey being linked with a move elsewhere this winter.
The ex-Norwich City defender has played merely 91 minutes all season under Dyche and O’Brien has outperformed him in almost every metric so far, based off of Godfrey’s stats last season.
Godfrey has been making more tackles than O’Brien, although the latter has a higher success rate.
However, apart from interceptions, the Lyon star trumps the Everton defender.
If Godfrey leaves this January, Dyche should look no further than O’Brien to be an upgrade on him due to his superior defensive and in-possession capabilities across the board to repeat the club’s Branthwaite  masterclass

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