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Everton step up search for centre half after Jarrad Branthwaite injury

Everton v Salford City – Carabao Cup – Second Round – Goodison Park
(Image credit: Peter Powell)

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti will step up his search for a centre-back as Jarrad Branthwaite’s injury left him with just two fit players for the position.

The 18-year-old has been ruled out for up to five weeks with an ankle problem sustained in the midweek win over Salford and with Mason Holgate (toe) potentially sidelined for three months until the end of October the Toffees have just Michael Keane and Yerry Mina.

Mina, in particular, has had a number of niggly injuries in his two seasons at the club and Ancelotti knows he needs back-up.

“He (Branthwaite) had a problem on his ankle, he’s out for a least three to five weeks,” said the Italian.

“He doesn’t need surgery but he has to rest for one month. Mason Holgate, no news for him, he is out.

“I have to follow the advice of the doctors, of the medical staff. He’s (Holgate) out for two or three months.

“He feels good in this moment, he’s walking in the swimming pool without any problem but I think we have to wait a little bit.”

“Honestly we are looking for a centre-back, if the market offers something I think that we can have one.

“Now we are only with Yerry Mina and Michael Keane, but we are looking for another one.”

Ancelotti has also given a vote of confidence to striker Moise Kean after a mixed performance against Salford.

The 20-year-old hit the crossbar with a header from six yards when he should have scored but stepped up to score a late penalty to make it 3-0.

“For a striker it is important to score – not for me. It is important to have a good performance and he played a good game and was involved in a lot of offensive situations.

“He scored the penalty but I don’t know how he felt after the penalty. He could have scored before.

“Moise Kean is a player we count for the season, this is for sure. (At) central striker we have Dominic (Calvert-Lewin), who is doing well, and we have him.”

Kean will be back on the bench for Saturday’s visit of West Brom on Saturday as Ancelotti restores his full-strength side having made 10 changes in midweek.

It means home debuts for new signings James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan as they look to build on last weekend’s win over Spurs.

“The first game was important, it gave us a lot of confidence. We will try to repeat the performance we had against Tottenham,” the Toffees boss added.

“Consistency means to get the result. I think there is a lot of expectation but it is the right expectation.

“We have a good squad and for this reason we can get a result.”