Manchester United look to be finally heading in the right direction after picking up their second win on the trot as they comfortably beat Crystal Palace in their Carabao Cup third-round encounter.
It has been a difficult start for Erik ten Hag and his team with four defeats coming in the opening six games and the defence has been a major talking point.
During that difficult period, the 20-time English league champions ended up conceding 14 goals in five games while lots of players suffered injuries.
United’s defensive problems
The form of Martinez and Maguire have also been questioned and it is imperative that the Argentine regains his touch as soon as possible.
Another player that had been linked with a move to Old Trafford was Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite who had enjoyed a fantastic season out on loan at PSV Eindhoven last term.
The 21-year-old helped keep 12 clean-sheets, with Red Devils legend and then-PSV manager Ruud van Nistelrooy labelling him a “great talent”.
After not being used in the opening two games, the 21-year-old has since started the next four Premier League games and is beginning to cement his place as a first-team regular.
And the Toffees are keen to reward this progress with a new contract as they know there is plenty of interest in the England U21 international.
Jarrad Branthwaite new deal at Everton
“Given Branthwaite’s strong performances and potential, attention at Everton has turned to securing his future. His current contract expires in the summer of 2025, but contains a club option for a further year’s extension.
“It is a healthy position for them to be in, but Everton are keen to tie him down on fresh terms and have opened discussions towards doing so. They know his potential is vast but, at 21, this is still a period of development,” The Athletic have reported.
As per Transfermarkt, his current market value is €10 million but Sean Dyche is not expected to entertain any bids for his newest defensive rock.
Seeing how comfortable he is with the ball at his feet and with his runs into midfield, it is easy to see why United were linked with a move. Whether they will return in the future remains to be seen.