This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Carlisle United continue to struggle in League Two this season, with the Cunbrians down in 21st place in the division, with only one win in their last five outings.
The task for United manager Chris Beech is not made any easier with the news that Rangers are just one of the clubs considering a January move for defender Jarrad Branthwaite, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.
The 6ft 4in youngster has only broken into the first team this season, but his impressive showing has meant a number of clubs will be monitoring his progress.
So would Branthwaite be a good signing at Ibrox? Is he good enough for SPFL football?
“This would be a very strong investment from Steven Gerrard as he wouldn’t command a huge fee coming from League Two and has bags of potential.
“At just 17 years of age, Branthwaite has broken into Carlisle’s first-team making six appearances and impressing a lot in doing so.
“Branthwaite wouldn’t immediately walk into Rangers’ starting lineup but the experience of being in a squad regularly qualifying for Europe could boost his development massively.
“It appears that Carlisle will struggle to keep hold of their centre-back for too much longer, with a lot of teams interested already, so Rangers signing him would be a good move for the future.”
“This would certainly be an interesting addition for Rangers, who must certainly view the young defender as a player that can take the club forward in the future as Branthwaite is way to young for first team action at present.
“The youngster has impressed for Carlisle United this term, making 10 appearances in all competitions and given his age it is perhaps unsurprising to see bigger clubs sniffing around him.
“Rangers have a good reputation for putting faith in youth under Steven Gerrard and the centre back may well view a move to Ibrox as the next stage in his development as a professional.
“Given the limited finances that Carlisle possess, any kind of significant offer for Branthwaite will surely be considered by the club’s hierarchy, particularly with the defender set to attract a whole host of suitors in the coming months.”
Would Jarrad Branthwaite be a good signing at Rangers?
“This could be a really good signing – Branthwaite has a huge amount of potential and could be an excellent signing for the future.
“He has produced a number of impressive performances for Carlisle this season, and has showed that he can play right at the top at the future.
“First and foremost, he is a quality defender, but he can also play out from the back and push forward with ease, as he showed against Morecambe when he scored his first ever goal.
“Just look at how George Edmundson has done since moving to Ibrox – he is earning regular game-time under Steven Gerrard, and the former Liverpool man seems like an excellent coach for young players.”