Jarrad Branthwaite feels the untraditional career path he’s taken for a Premier League youngster has been a beneficial one.

Branthwaite signed for Rovers on loan last week, exactly a year on from him making the switch to Everton from League Two side Carlisle United.

Tony Mowbray described his rise as ‘meteoric’, playing four times already in the Premier League for Carlo Ancelotti’s side after 14 in League Two for home-town club Carlisle.

With opportunities more limited at Everton this season with four senior centre halves ahead of him, and Rovers in need of reinforcements, they turned to the 18-year-old who was straight in for his debut against Stoke City at the weekend.

The prospect of a run in the team is one that excites Branthwaite who is eager to impress and build on his development within a whirlwind year.

“The plan was for a bit more of a transition, but I’ve been sort of fast-tracked and I think that’s helped me,” Branthwaite said.

“I’ve been training with the Everton first-team every day and that’s helped me massively as a player.

“To now be able to get this chance to come to Blackburn on loan for me as a player it’s going to help me so much and I can’t wait for the second half of the season here.

“I want to get as many games as I can under my belt, develop as a player, and see what that does for me.”

Branthwaite wasn’t overawed by making his debut less than 48 hours after signing, with another game on the horizon against Swansea City tomorrow night.

Mowbray likened his new defender to Scott Wharton in the efficient way he went about his defensive duties, while his ability to play on the left-side of the pairing was a real bonus.

On his route from League Two to Premier League, and now a Championship loan spell, Branthwaite added: “It’s a different pathway to a lot of people, playing 14 League Two games helped me for the physical side of things and moving to Everton is a lot more technical so I’ve developed that as well.

“It’s helped me a lot the way that I’ve come through, I’ve developed from a League Two side in Carlisle to the Premier League so have got both sides of the game.”

Branthwaite follows Harvey Elliott in making the move from a north-west Premier League club to signing for Rovers on loan, the Liverpool teenager giving his Everton counterpart a glowing reference when they spoke ahead of the move.

Rovers’ connections with Premier League sides, as well as the location, gave them the nod over several other clubs who were in for Branthwaite this month, a pick of the defensive options made available by their parent clubs for moves in January.

“Blackburn was perfect, I spoke to the manager numerous times and the things he said about the club and the way they play, it fit right in,” the defender explained. 

“Also living in Liverpool it’s perfect, it only takes 35 minutes to get into training so it all fit perfectly.

“The manager can teach me a thing or two which is a bonus.

“He’s just looking for me to do the basics, what good defenders do, try and keep as many clean sheets as possible, but he knows I have good talents with the ball so he wants me to play.

“But he’s looking for me to do the basics, what it says on the tin.”

Bradley Johnson had been partnering Darragh Lenihan in the absence of Rovers’ three senior centre halves currently out injured, making bringing in a new defender ahead of last weekend a priority.

And making his debut so soon after his signing was something he took in his stride.

He added: “It didn’t really matter, I know I’ve got the ability, the manager trusted me, so I went out there and gave my all.

“It’s a responsibility, but everyone in the team has a responsibility on their shoulders so you just have to think of it as just another game of football, play your game, knowing what the manager wants from you and just get on with it.”