Leeds United missed out on Ben Godfrey as a teenager amid comments that the centre-back was snubbed by the club following a trial…
After being released by Middlesbrough as a youngster, Godfrey would then go on trial at Elland Road, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday, with none of them leading to a contract, thus leaving the defender contemplating his future in the game.
He said: “It felt a little bit like the dream was over. For them to say no was a massive confidence-breaker, really. It looked like the end of the journey.
“The moment that stands out massively is after that Leeds United trial. The coach told me they were not going to offer me anything but to go and prove him wrong. That stuck with me. I was desperate then. I could not wait to go and prove them wrong.”
Daniel Farke, Godfrey’s former boss at Norwich, once tipped him to reach the very highest level, declaring: “Whoever signs Ben Godfrey can be unbelievably happy. It is no coincidence he is captain of the England Under-21s. This club has had some decent players in the past so to be rated the biggest transfer fee for a figure that is on the world level says everything about his potential.
“I am pretty sure he will play for best clubs in the world one day and he has the potential to captain England. That is what I wish for him. He is one of the best centre backs in the world in terms of potential.”
While Godfrey hasn’t exactly emerged as a real cornerstone of England’s defence, he has picked up a couple of caps for the Three Lions and earned himself a high-profile move from Norwich to Everton just a couple of years ago while Carlo Ancelotti was the manager on Merseyside.
Indeed, the 24-year-old’s potential and ability was on clear display just this past weekend, when the Toffees ran out 1-0 winners against Manchester United at Goodison Park. Godfrey was instrumental at the back, making a whopping game-high 13 clearances (more than double that of the man in second), and he wasn’t once dribbled past either.
Described as an “absolute baller” by Everton’s official Twitter channel, the £25m-rated Godfrey has certainly carved out a fine career for himself since that rejection from Leeds a number of years ago.
The 6 foot ace has proved not only the Whites wrong, but all those other clubs who snubbed him too.