Photo by Dave Thompson/Pool via 2020 Getty Images

Michael Keane has been singing the praises of Everton team-mate Jarrad Branthwaite.

The Toffees brought the 18-year-old defender to Merseyside from Carlisle United in January.

And the young centre-back is finally starting to get some minutes under Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti, who handed him a Premier League debut in the defeat by Wolves last week.

He must have impressed the Italian coach, who then gave him 74 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa earlier this week after Mason Holgate went off injured.

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And although Keane admits that Everton have their hands on a brilliant young player here, the former Burnley stalwart, who now plays alongside Branthwaite, isn’t surprised after seeing his promise in training.

He told the club’s official website: “I thought he was brilliant but I wasn’t surprised. He has shown in training since we came back he is a top, top young player. He had a bit of experience at Wolves, which will have helped him on Thursday. I am sure he has a great career ahead of him.”

The teenager must be pinching himself.

This time last year, he was just a promising League Two player, but now he’s playing under a coach who has won the Champions League on no fewer than three occasions.

There’s no telling how much working under Ancelotti could improve his game and it’s fascinating to see how the Everton gem continues to develop.

Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

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