By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

19th Mar, 2023 | 11:10am

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Sean Dyche holds all the cards as Ruud van Nistelrooy pushes to sign Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and a first-team role is possible, according to Kevin Campbell.

The on-loan Toffees defender has become a key part of the PSV side under the Dutch legend, who spoke out about his attempts to get the club to make the deal permanent, but the youngster confirmed a return to Goodison Park will be next before any decision is made [Liverpool Echo, 13 March].

And Sky Sports pundit Campbell has suggested that there may be a place for Branthwaite on Merseyside with players likely on the way out this summer, to leave Van Nistelrooy disappointed.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News he said: “It all depends on what the manager wants to do. Sean Dyche hasn’t seen him play.

“He hasn’t worked with him so Sean Dyche might say to himself, ‘I want to see what he’s like in preseason’.

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“You can never have enough good, young centre-backs. 

“So with a player like that, I think there’s a few at the back there whose contracts are up as well. 

“It might just be, ‘You’re coming back. You’re going to be a squad player and [when] you get your chance you play’.

“I’m sure Ruud van Nistelrooy would like to keep him but luckily he’s an Everton player and Sean Dyche will have the final say on that.”

The path looks to be opening up in front of Branthwaite to make an impact at Everton, having taken full advantage of his opportunity in the Eredivisie.

At the start of the season he was buried behind new arrivals James Tarkowski and Conor Coady, as well as incumbents Ben Godfrey, Micheal Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate.

But with Coady losing his place under Dyche his deal being made permanent is now in question, and all three of Mina, Keane and Holgate could move on in the summer.

The manager also likes to utilise size and at six foot five Branthwaite has plenty of that, so unless PSV, or Liverpool or Manchester United, make the Toffees an offer they can’t refuse he could even find his way into the starting line-up.