Carlo Ancelotti is set to land a duplicate of Michael Keane in Everton’s capture of Norwich City ace Ben Godfrey after seeing a £25million offer accepted.
What’s the word?
According to The Times, the Toffees have successfully negotiated the transfer of Godfrey with his Championship side after a breakthrough in negotiations on Thursday night.
Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands first approached the Carrow Road natives on Monday, following discussions with Ancelotti on how best to deal with the Italian’s centre-back crisis given injuries to Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite.
The Blues will pay an initial £25m to bring Godfrey to Goodison Park ahead of Monday’s Deadline Day, in a deal featuring add-ons worth an estimated £5m per Sky Sports.
Norwich had strived to secure their upfront asking price of £30m but eased their stance, allowing the 6 ft 1 talent to join Jamal Lewis in sealing moves away from Norfolk following the Canaries’ relegation last season.
Newcastle United, who signed Lewis in a potential £20m deal last month, and Fulham had also registered their interest in Godfrey but missed out on his signature as a move to Merseyside appealed more to the 22-year-old.
Michael Keane 2.0
Godfrey’s anticipated arrival on Merseyside will award Ancelotti a great sense of relief as he acquires depth in the backline whilst awaiting Holgate and Branthwaite’s returns from injury. However, it will remain to be seen whether or not the Canaries talent has the ability to displace the established ranks at Goodison Park once all are fit to feature.
Across the 2019/20 season as Norwich bowed out of the Premier League immediately upon their return to the top-flight, Godfrey started all 30 of the fixtures in which he featured whilst helping Daniel Farke’s side to two clean sheets – once of which came against Everton.
But from those encounters, SofaScore data shows that while Godfrey tallied a commanding 148 clearances, he was only capable of recording 22 tackles, 25 interceptions and 39 ground duels won whilst being dribbled past on eight occasions.
Compare those figures with what Keane, Holgate and Yerry Mina recorded, and it shows Godfrey’s talents are more in line with former Burnley ace Keane who similarly penned 150 clearances, 31 tackles and won 39 ground duels to Holgate and Mina’s 94 and 98 clearances, 44 and 39 tackles and 76 and 56 ground duels won respectively.
The only areas where Godfrey eclipsed Holgate and Mina was in clearances, although Holgate was dribbled past on more occasions (10) and won fewer aerial duels (44 to 66).
If Ancelotti were to favour a backline containing both of Keane and Godfrey when Holgate, for example, is fit, the Italian would likely be accepting a more backs-to-the-wall approach should the opposing side develop the upper hand.
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