Wayne Rooney has raved about new Everton signing Ben Godfrey in his Times column and has predicted the summer addition to form a new-look partnership at centre-back in the near future – despite playing at right-back on Sunday.
Godfrey, 22, joined Everton in the summer for a fee of £25million (ITV), after shining for Norwich last season despite the Canaries suffering relegation to the Championship. He played in 30 of Norwich’s 38 Premier League outings.
Since arriving at Goodison Park, Godfrey has been used out of position to cover the lack of options on the right side of Carlo Ancelotti’s defence. He has impressed in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool, and came out of the defeat to Southampton with pass marks.
Everton legend Rooney claimed before Sunday’s defeat to Southampton that he has been impressed by Godfrey and reckons the defender can form a new-look centre-back partnership with £65k-a-week (Spotrac) Michael Keane – despite Yerry Mina.
“Ben Godfrey could prove another great Ancelotti signing — I’ve a feeling he and Michael [Keane] could emerge as Everton’s centre-back partnership for a number of years,” Rooney claimed.
TBR’s view – Is Godfrey the long-term answer at centre-back?
Phil Jagielka’s form dipped towards the end of his Everton spell and since then, the Toffees have not had a regular partnership at centre-back. Mason Holgate has played, as has Kurt Zouma during a loan spell from Chelsea.
Mina endured a difficult start at Everton but has since improved – though he still has some way to go. Keane’s been in and out of form but certainly has improved under Ancelotti. But with Godfrey, Everton have a player Ancelotti can mould.
Still young and still raw, playing alongside Keane and under Ancelotti can see him become a long-term Everton hero – and a future England international. Certainly, he is on the right path.