Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has praised the maturity of teenage defender Jarrad Branthwaite after pitching him into the heat of Premier League battle.

The 18-year-old was handed a first top-flight start in Monday night’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United and Ancelotti was delighted with how he took it in his stride.

He said: “He’s doing really well. He has worked with us in the last months and he has improved a lot. He has a really good character, good quality skills and we have been really impressed with him, above all how he is able to manage the pressure that of course he has because he’s started to play in the Premier League really young.

“But his character is good and so he is able to manage really well the pressure that he has.”

Branthwaite could get another opportunity in Sunday’s final game of the season against Bournemouth, with injuries once again limiting Ancelotti’s options.