Ben Godfrey says feeling the “trust” of Carlo Ancelotti and developing his tactical intelligence under the legendary Italian manager has underpinned his exceptional Everton form.
The defender is enjoying an impressive debut season with the Blues, having joined from Norwich City last October.
Godfrey’s whole-hearted and courageous approach has seen him quickly win the hearts of Evertonians. His unflinching tackles and electric, lung-busting surges forward have provided a regularly thrilling sight since his arrival at Goodison Park.
The 23-year-old has played the full 90 minutes in 19 of Everton’s past 20 Premier League games – and Blues boss Ancelotti has described him as “a fantastic signing” who can be “the future of the Club”.
“It’s nice when a manager backs you and trusts you to play in consistent games,” Godfrey told evertontv.
“That’s what you want as a player.
“I think tactically there has been an improvement in my game [since joining Everton].
“I’ve still got a lot to improve on and to work on. I’ll keep working hard every day to do that – to take my game onto that next level.
“I just want to keep working hard and keep churning out consistent performances. As long as I can help the boys get victories, then I’ll be happy with that.
“I’m really enjoying my time here.”
Everton return to action after the international break when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park on Easter Monday (6pm GMT).
That contest kicks off Everton’s 10-game Premier League run-in, with the Blues aiming to secure a spot in European competition.
Last week saw James Rodriguez and Jean-Philippe Gbamin return to Everton training and boss Ancelotti has said he is hopeful goalkeepers Jordan Pickford and Robin Olsen will be in contention for the Palace clash after injury layoffs.
Godfrey, who is currently on duty with England Under-21s, believes the increased options available to the manager will give Everton a significant boost for their European push.
The Toffees are currently eighth in the table but just five points behind fourth place and with a game in hand on all the teams above them.
“It’s always a nervy time for clubs and managers when players disappear for a couple of weeks over the international break,” Godfrey added.
“But it gives players time to come back from injury and, touch wood, everyone comes back from the internationals in good shape and ready to go.
“We’ve got some massive games when we come back which we’re all looking forward to.”