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England ace opens up on benefits of Portugal trip ahead of crucial season run-in

England ace opens up on benefits of Portugal trip ahead of crucial season run-in

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite is confident the team’s recent trip to Portugal has provided them with the perfect springboard for their crucial final ten games of the Premier League season.

Following a challenging run of form, the Toffees embarked on a training camp in Portugal last Monday, taking advantage of a three-week gap before their next league clash against Bournemouth.

Beyond the intense training sessions, the Portugal trip also offered an opportunity for the squad to strengthen their bond off the pitch, which will be vital as Everton navigates a congested schedule with a lot at stake.

“It’s been good, I think it was what we needed,” Branthwaite told “There’s been a bit of team building, as well, after a few tough sessions. 

“I missed pre-season, so it is nice to get away from Finch Farm and come to a different environment with the players and have a bit of downtime to get together and get to know each other a bit more – it’s been really good.

“There’s been some hard training sessions to get us ready for after the international break. I think we are all ready for that next game now.” 

Branthwaite received his first senior England call-up on Thursday ahead of their international friendly fixtures against Brazil and Belgium.

The 21-year-old has been in impressive form for the Toffees this season despite featuring in only his maiden campaign in the Premier League.

Branthwaite has established himself as a crucial component in Sean Dyche’s first team set-up, forging a solid partnership with compatriot James Tarkowski at the heart of the Everton defence.

He has won an impressive 64% of his aerial duels and is also a force to be reckoned with in 1v1 duels, boasting a 71% success rate in ground battles, having featured 25 times in the Premier League this season.

The former PSV Eindhoven loanee will be keen to leave a lasting impression on Gareth Southgate during the international break and make a case for a place in the squad for the upcoming European Championship.

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