Rafa Benitez’s modifications could help Ben Godfrey reach new heights at Everton.
Ben Godfrey’s achievements in an Everton shirt last season garnered him a lot of praise, resulting in him making his England debut as part of Gareth Southgate’s provisional Euros team.
Following his £25 million move from Norwich, the 23-year-old impressed Blues fans, but Godfrey is determined to push his game to the next level, with the help of new boss Rafa Benitez.
Despite his high-level performances, the teenage defender admitted in a recent interview with the club website that he believes there are still areas of his game that he has to develop.
“There is a lot,” Godfrey confessed when asked what areas he wants to focus on with Benitez.
“My whole game needs to improve; no one is flawless. I still have a lot of studying and hard work ahead of me. I’ll keep trying to get better at everything.”
Godfrey has definitely not lost his will to achieve new heights, despite his rapid climb from playing for York City just five years ago.
According to FBref, Godfrey was in the top 1% of Premier League centre-backs for the number of blocks per 90 minutes and the top 5% for the amount of pressures in the defensive third.
To put it another way, he’s fast to put his body on the line and is one of the top harriers in the division, with the potential to be one of the league’s best defenders.
Despite displaying a calmness in possession – best exemplified by his defence-splitting ball to bring up Dominic Calvert-Lewin against West Ham United in May – the statistics suggest he hasn’t done so often enough.
Only 1.7 of his average 37 passes per 90 were considered progressive, putting him in the bottom third of his fellow centre-halves in terms of passes attempted (31% ) and completed (36% ).
Godfrey, who played a passing-based game under Daniel Farke at Norwich, saw a substantial dip in performance. For the Canaries, he averaged 11 more passes per game and had an 88 percent completion percentage.
Benitez needs to find a method to better utilize Godfrey’s passing range, which the young defender currently possesses.
“Summary comes to an end.”