York City midfielder Ben Godfrey completes switch to Norwich City
- Credit: Norwich City
Norwich City have completed the signing of York City midfielder Ben Godfrey, in a deal that could reportedly rise to £1million.
The midfielder has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Canaries – on his 18th birthday – and will initially be involved with the club's academy teams, having made 15 senior appearances for York.
'It's massive for me to be given this opportunity and I can't wait to get started,' Godfrey said, after completing the move from his hometown club.
'I'm delighted to get the deal done, and it happening on my birthday makes it extra special. York gave me the platform to kick on so I owe a lot to them, but it's about what happens next now.
'Norwich is a huge club and I'm looking forward to developing myself as a player here.'
Godfrey made his debut for the League Two club during a 1-0 home win over Yeovil and scored his first goal for the Minstermen in a 2-1 home loss to Plymouth in November.
City boss Alex Neil, speaking to City's official website, added: 'We're hoping Ben will be someone who can blossom into a good player in the future.
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'Despite only being 18, he has already played first team football for York. That in itself suggests he's progressing quickly, and he has an athletic build already through his dad's rugby league history.
'We'll introduce him into the Under-21s to start with, and he'll be a project for us to work on.'
Neil had reportedly personally scouted the tall youngster in a 6-0 loss at Portsmouth earlier in the campaign, and been impressed by what he had seen.
Godfrey was part of the youth system at Middlesbrough when he was younger, before starting a scholarship with York in 2014 and going on to captain the club's under-18s.
The midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, turned down two chances to sign professional terms with the Minstermen and his youth contract was due to expire at the end of the season.
York manager Jackie McNamara, confirming the news on York's official website, said: 'While we wanted to keep Ben long-term and offered him a two-year contract that proved difficult once there was interest and Norwich came in for him.
'Ben's mind was made up however and I, like everyone at the club, wish him all the best in the next step of his career.'
West Brom, Hull, Cardiff and Barnsley have all previously been linked with making a move for the teenager but Norwich have now sealed his signature.
McNamara recently spoke to BBC Radio York about Godfrey, saying: 'He's got potential, I think that's what everybody will look at, he has potential there.
'For me, he's got a big heart, he gives you everything he has and he's a good size as well. People look at that, (he's) athletic and a really good prospect.'