Jarrad Branthwaite has opened up about his time with Everton’s first team.

18-year-old Branthwaite made his home debut on Thursday night when he replaced injured Mason Holgate just 15 minutes into the Toffees’ 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. The Englishman moved to Merseyside from Carlisle United in January, and has been playing in David Unsworth’s under-23 squad until his full debut against Wolves last week.

Labelling his first appearance at Goodison Park as “a dream come true”, Branthwaite went on to say: “I just can’t believe it to be fair, it’s still sinking in.

“I thought I played well, I’m just disappointed with the result. It was important for us to show mentality from the game against Wolves, which I thought we did.

“We controlled the game pretty well I thought. This one I got a bit more time to get into the game, I settled in and just went on from there.”

A League Two regular just months ago, the teenager has made immeasurable leaps in his development in recent times. With Everton’s defensive line plagued by injuries and finding themselves stretched by availability, Branthwaite has been thrust in at the deep end with his opening Premier League ties.

The youngster rose to the occasion and was among the best players on the pitch on Thursday. He expressed his gratitude for the guidance he has received from the senior players at the club. Branthwaite said: “Everyone on the pitch was helping me out with communication to get me through the game, which is brilliant for a young lad.

“I need to train hard every day and see where it takes me. Thankfully I’m out there playing.

“The whole back line, all the defenders, have been helping me out in terms of positioning and things. In training Leighton, Seamus – they’ve all been telling me position-wise to check my shoulders and things.

“Everyone has been brilliant with me.”