Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand has delivered Carlo Ancelotti a piece of great news with his backing of Everton’s Deadline Day deal to sign Norwich City defender Ben Godfrey.
Godfrey became Everton’s fifth signing of the summer when the 22-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year contract, keeping him on Merseyside until at least 2025 after Everton agreed to pay Norwich £20million for one of English football’s top defensive prospects.
The York-born talent had been with the Canaries for the past four years following a move from his academy side York City, and helped the Carrow Road outfit secure their promotion into the Premier League as Championship title holders during the 2018/19 season.
He went on to start each of his 30 top-flight outings either side of tearing ligaments in his knee last December, while recording an average 4.9 clearances, 0.7 tackles, 1.3 ground duels won, 0.8 interceptions and 2.2 aerial duels won a game, per SofaScore, but could not prevent his side’s immediate return to the second-tier.
Yet Manchester United and England icon Ferdinand does not appear to believe Godfrey will struggle to make a success of himself at Goodison Park, having taken to Twitter on Deadline Day to offer his thoughts on the youngster’s move.
“Only the beginning as we always say,” he noted. “[He will] be the hardest worker in the building! Good Luck Ben Godfrey.”
Ferdinand’s comment will come as a piece of great news for Ancelotti as he prepares to welcome Godfrey into his squad and integrate the 22-year-old into a unit that has allowed the Premier League’s third-least goals against them over the first four games.
The retired star turned BT Sport pundit knows all there is to know about being a successful centre-half in the English top-flight, having helped the Red Devils to six Premier League titles, as well as achieving success on the continent with the 2007/08 Champions League.
But Ferdinand lauding Godfrey for his work off the pitch will be what Ancelotti should take the most joy in, as it shows the Italian has acquired a player who will be pushing himself to the limit to ensure Everton have not wasted £20m on his signing.
Godfrey will also be pushing himself to be the best defender he can be, which in turn will see that Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina are kept on their toes or risk losing their place in the starting line-up.
Competition between the trio was already high with Holgate establishing himself in October 2019 with a run of 22 out of 23 possible league starting XIs, only to be left sat watching on as Mina and Keane thrive in the new campaign through a toe injury sustained in pre-season.
If Godfrey can live up to the hype and Ferdinand’s praise, Ancelotti and Everton should be in for a bright future in defence.