‘He’s probably got too much football to play there’ – City’s great Scot on their rising star
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Ben Godfrey's unique traits are what will set him up for success at Norwich City, according to Grant Hanley.
After an assured outing at centre-back as the Canaries won their penultimate pre-season friendly 3-1 at Luton on Wednesday night, City confirmed Godfrey had signed a new contract extension primed to keep the 20-year-old at Carrow Road until at least the summer of 2022.
Hanley was captain and Godfrey's centre-back partner for the first half at Kenilworth Road, as the Scot made his own first appearance of an interrupted pre-season – and he liked what he saw at close quarters from a player who was expected to make his mark solely as a defensive midfielder.
'Ben is a great lad,' said Hanley. 'Young lads now don't really seem to have the attitude that Ben's got. He's strong and you know exactly what you're getting from him, which is great for a lad of that age.
'It was good to play next to him and it's nice with the younger lads when you feel like you can talk to them and they listen, they want to make themselves better, want to improve.
'I thought he did well and he's played like that a couple of times in pre-season, in a position where it maybe wasn't as familiar to him before – so credit to him.
'I think Ben has got the attributes to play a number of positions and sometimes that can be on your side, because then he might get thrown in for a position where he might not have done if he wasn't so versatile.
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'Like I said, I like Ben. His attitude is absolutely first class and what helps him as well when he does drop in at centre-half is his football ability.
'He's probably got too much football to play at centre-half. He can pass a ball well and you've saw a couple of the diagonal balls he hit here. That will be on his side and also he's got the physical attributes as well.
'So he's shown he's willing to learn and he can play a number of positions.'
What also earned Hanley's seal of approval was the arrival of his former Newcastle team-mate Tim Krul.
'Any player with the experience he's got is massive for the group, especially when you've got quite a young squad – it's another man in the dressing room to drag the young lads through, as well as everyone else,' added Hanley of the former Dutch international goalkeeper.
'Obviously I knew Tim from Newcastle and we were probably in the same boat because we weren't playing very much – so at least we had something to relate to together.
'First and foremost he's a great guy and he'll be great for the dressing room. He's experienced and what he's done in football speaks for itself, so it's a great addition.'
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