Chelsea are monitoring the situation of 17-year-old Carlisle United defender Jarrad Branthwaite and could make a move in the January transfer window, according to reports in The Daily Mail.

The young Englishman is only making his first steps in senior football but is already attracting attention from Europe’s best. Premier League leaders Liverpool are also reportedly interested in Branthwaite, and Carlisle are hoping to cash in on him in January.

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Carlisle are currently sat 19th in the fourth tier of English football. They have struggled in what is an immensely competitive division. However, the young centre-back has been a shining star in a difficult season.

He would join Ethan Ampadu and Ben Wilmot in making the jump from League Two to the Premier League. Although neither of the aforementioned have made it at their respective clubs yet, they have gained experience out on loan at some good European clubs.

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Branthwaite has made ten league appearances for the Cumbrian club so far this season. Both Liverpool and Chelsea are now attractive options for a young player. Liverpool have shown a willingness to give youngsters the chance in some cup competitions. Meanwhile, Chelsea have finally given several young players a chance in the league this season.

The Blues already have a number of young centre-backs at the club. Signing Branthwaite could prove to be an unnecessary exercise. However, he is just 17-year-old. He could learn a lot from the academy graduates currently making it in the Chelsea first team.

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