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‘He has a lot to be grateful for’ - Godfrey will shine for Everton after City exit

Ben Godfrey has been backed to be a big hit at Everton by England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Ben Godfrey has been backed to be a big hit at Everton by England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Ben Godfrey owes Norwich City a debt of gratitude for his big opportunity but England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd is confident the defender will succeed at Everton.

The Canaries signed Godfrey from York in a deal worth an initial £150,000 in January 2016, with add-ons taking the deal to around £1million, and sold him this month in a club record deal worth an initial £25million – with York due 10 percent of the profit thanks to a sell-on clause.

The 22-year-old made 78 appearances for City, playing a big part in the Championship title triumph of 2018-19, and also enjoyed a successful season on loan in League One at Shrewsbury.

“I just think he’s a genuine guy, he’s honest,” said Young Lions boss Boothroyd. “He’s just had a huge move to Everton but you wouldn’t know that as he walks in the door. He’s just a genuinely nice bloke and I have to say, he doesn’t suffer fools in the group.”

Godfrey earned his sixth England U21 cap on Tuesday night, alongside former Canaries colleagues Max Aarons and Oliver Skipp, as a 2-1 win over Turkey in Wolverhampton sealed European U21 Championship qualification.

His new Everton boss, former Real Madrid and AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti, has described him as a “really talented player” with the potential to be a “complete defender” ahead of his potential debut in the Merseyside derby on Saturday.

Godfrey has captained the England U21s previously and Boothroyd is backing him to be a success for the Toffees, continuing: “He’ll bring competition first because he’s got two guys ahead of him initially (Michael Keane and Yerry Mina) and he’s got to stake his claim for his first team place, which he will.

“He’s the sort of guy that can handle that pressure of going into an environment like that and obviously a top manager and coaching team that will work with him.

“They’ll help him become an even better player, playing with better players than he was at Norwich. He has a lot to be grateful for there because of the time on the pitch that he got and the development that he has got.

“But he has got to kick on because the Premier League is a lot more unforgiving than the Championship, but I’m sure he will.”


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