As per Everton’s official website, Ben Godfrey was finally back on the pitch for their U21s after continuing to recover from his fractured fibula which required surgery. He played 57 vital minutes before being taken off.
It marks a sensational turnaround for someone with such a serious injury, and there is hope that after this six-week break he could be ready to return to first-team action.
Although Conor Coady and James Tarkowski have formed a formidable partnership at the heart of defence, the 24-year-old offers far more speed than the two stalwarts can boast, and could push them for spots in the team once he is deemed fully fit.
His return arguably comes at the perfect time, with Michael Keane proving in midweek exactly why he is not good enough for the club.
What will please Frank Lampard even more is that he could now start working towards perhaps implementing his favoured formation of 3-5-2.
Even through large parts of last season, throughout their disappointment, the 44-year-old remained largely true to that philosophy.
He was eventually forced into switching things, clearly not believing in the personnel and their ability to uphold the formation.
But with Godfrey’s return, he could add that injection of pace needed to supplement the solid but admittedly slow talents of Coady and Tarkowski.
Following his comeback in the U21s loss to Southampton, The Athletic writer Paddy Boyland took to Twitter to laud his display: “No signs of rust from Ben Godfrey on his comeback. Composed return at centre back before being taken off in the second half”, he wrote.
Although fans initially craved the 4-3-3, recent results have indicated that perhaps there may be an issue with the midfield.
With this injury boost, Lampard could solve all of his issues by finally ditching Keane and switching to a formation that he clearly feels can get the best from his squad.