BEN GODFREY TO EVERTON: WHAT DOES HE BRING TO THE TABLE?
22-Year-Old English Defender Ben Godfrey has completed a £25m move to an in-form Everton side after completing his medical on Sunday, but what exactly will he be able to offer to the Toffees.
Although it has been a fantastic start to the season for Everton and it could be questioned why they even need to make any additions to their squad, there is still room for improvement defensively.
Having scored 12 goals in their first four games it is evident there are not any major issues going forward, but at the other end, they have conceded five, two of which from set-pieces.
By adding a defender with the natural talent Godfrey has, Ancelotti will hope to strengthen his defence and add to an already winning team.
On top of this defenders Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite have both picked up injuries leaving Everton rather limited for options at the back and Ancelotti has made it clear that he wants to have more choices and more depth.
So, who is Ben Godfrey and why is he the best option for Everton?
The defender, who was born in York, began his senior playing career for York City in League Two, accumulating a total of 12 league appearances for the side scoring one goal.
This sparked the interest of Norwich City, who signed him on a three-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee in 2016.
The following year, he was loaned out to League One side Shrewsbury Town where he gained some valuable experience.
Playing a total of 47 games for the club in the 2017/18 season meant he was a big factor in what was a very successful year for Shrewsbury.
After finishing 18th in the previous season, it was a big surprise when Shrewsbury managed a 3rd place finish and only narrowly missed out on promotion when they were defeated by Rotherham United in the EFL League One play-off Final.
Shrewsbury only conceded a total of 39 goals that season, and Ben Godfrey was a key factor in this.
This was shown by the fact that in the subsequent season, after returning from his loan spell, Shrewsbury dropped right back down the table and returned to 18th place.
Despite this, it certainly was not a disappointing season for Norwich and Godfrey in 2018/19.
A fantastic season saw The Canaries manage to lift the Championship Title gaining automatic promotion into the Premier League, a massive step in the English defender’s career.
Godfrey played his first season in the Premier League last year making a total of 30 appearances for Norwich, adding to the appeal for gaining his signature as he already has Premier League experience.
Last season was not ideal from Norwich’s perspective, but Godfrey did stand out as one of the players who demonstrated the talent to be a quality Premier League defender and potentially become one of the top defenders in the world.
Current manager Daniel Farke has given him his backing in doing so.
Godfrey has also played at an international level, representing the England national under-21 side and on top of this, in 2019 he was given the captains armband.
This provides yet another reason why Ancelotti was so keen to get this deal done, having already captained a team at just 22-years-old, it is clear Godfrey is a vocal player and will act as a leader on the pitch.
A further question that must be asked is how Ben Godfrey will have to adapt to the style that Everton plays with.
He is a player who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and relishes bringing it out of the defence and turning it into attack.
This makes him a rather unique option for Everton as he is bringing something very different to the table.
When you look at the two starting defenders they have now (Yerry Mina and Michael Keane), it can be argued neither of them are particularly strong in this department.
With the way the game is moving forward now, it is becoming more and more crucial to have individuals that are good with the ball at their feet and can contribute to the team in multiple ways.
Demonstrating his raw talent on multiple occasions for Norwich in the past two seasons, Godfrey is a player who is up to the challenge and he may thrive at a club like Everton, especially under the world-class management of Carlo Ancelotti.