Everton face an anxious wait to see the extent of the injury that Jarrad Branthwaite sustained in this evening’s cup win over Salford City as Carlo Ancelotti admits the club will sign a new centre-back if they can find one.
Branthwaite was included in the starting XI for the second-round tie against the League Two side but had to be withdrawn with an apparent ankle injury after just 24 minutes.
The youngster joins Mason Holgate in the treatment room and leaves Ancelotti with just two fit senior central defenders in Michael Keane and Yerry Mina.
The Italian says that he hopes Holgate, who was ruled out of the first two games of the new season with the toe he injured in the pre-season friendly against Preston, might be able to return earlier than the six-week prognosis he was given over the weekend but there are no guarantees.
“Holgate is out and [with] Jarrad we don’t know his injury and how bad it is,” Ancelotti said. “We have to look tomorrow.
“There is a possibility to find a centre-back and I think we have to do so,” the manager admitted, although he wouldn’t be drawn on Fikayo Tomori over whom the Blues have recently held talks with Chelsea:
“I am not talking about players that are not here.”
“The Holgate update is that he doesn’t need the surgery so maybe he can recover earlier than normal but I think we can manage until Mason comes back with three centre-backs, no problem.”
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Couldn’t watch the game. Followed it on the Forum.
I’m understanding that Jarrad walked off.
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