Godfrey: Why Everything I Stand For Matches With Everton

Ben Godfrey says he is playing for a club whose values and attitudes match his own – and the accomplished defender “wouldn’t want to be anywhere else”.

The 22-year-old immediately found his feet following a transfer to Goodison Park from Norwich City three months ago and has played every minute of Everton’s past eight Premier League games.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side has claimed 16 points from the 24 available in that period to rejoin the pack competing for European football.

Godfrey, meanwhile, has acquired a sky-high popularity rating following a succession of flawless defensive performances covering for the injured Lucas Digne at left-back.

There was audible appreciation for Godfrey’s combative style when supporters returned to Goodison last month – albeit the Yorkshireman insists Evertonians are yet to see his full range of attributes.

“Everything I stand for as a player and person matches with Everton; the fans and the Club as a whole,” Godfrey told evertonfc.com.

“The move has worked out perfectly and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

“It has been so easy to settle.

“As a northern lad, playing for a northern club, it suits me, massively.

“Everton has history – and growing up watching games at Goodison Park on television, you could tell from the atmosphere that the fans are so passionate.

“When I came to play against Everton [for Norwich], you got a sense of how much everyone in that stadium cared.

“The Club is a massive part of their lives, it is clear how big the Club is and how much the fans care about it.

“Those things stuck out for me [when choosing who to join from Norwich].

“To sign for that and to have those fans behind you – and to, hopefully, play in front of them soon – was an easy decision.

“The fans have a similar mentality to me, the things I appreciate in football, like a strong tackle, they appreciate as well.”

Godfrey became established in the centre-half position when breaking into Norwich’s team midway through a Championship promotion campaign in 2018/19.

He had formerly operated in midfield and at right-back, the role he filled when coming on for an Everton debut during the opening half of October’s Goodison Merseyside derby.

The England Under-21 player was briefly restored to the middle – as part of a three-man defence – before problems for Digne and Fabian Delph combined to push Godfrey to the left.

In his five full Premier League games performing that unfamiliar assignment, Everton have conceded only twice.

The only goal they’ve let in from open play in the period was the one scored by West Ham United on New Year’s Day to curtail a four-match winning run.

Godfrey has made 22 tackles and the same number of clearances, in addition to 14 interceptions and 54 duels won, in only 10 Premier League games this season.

He is eager to unfurl his passing repertoire but the run at full-back is supplementing a football education already expanded by manager Ancelotti’s eye for tactical nuances.

“I’ve not had a chance to show my passing range due to the position and the way games have gone,” said Godfrey.

“That is a massive part of my game and has been for the past couple of years, particularly from centre-back, and, hopefully, that can come out soon.

“The manager has improved me tactically, which was something I wanted for my development.

“If there is something he sees that is not quite right or needs working on, he will mention it… it could be related to the way the game is going, or decisions you make at certain times and passes you should be making

“He knows the game inside out and I am trying to take every little bit I can from him.

“He is so calm under pressure and simplifies things, so I am trying to take those attributes from him, simplifying things and staying calm myself.

“I am loving working under him and enjoying every second of being an Everton player.”