Everton have signed defender Ben Godfrey from Norwich for an initial fee believed to be in the region of £25m, rising to £30m.
The 22-year-old England U21 international has signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park.
✍️ | It’s good news for the Blues… #WelcomeGodfrey pic.twitter.com/ZhcGTRyMXk— Everton (@Everton) October 5, 2020
He becomes the Toffees’ fifth major signing of the window, following the captures of Niels Nkounkou, Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez.
Speaking about his move, Godfrey said:
“It is an honour to sign for Everton and to be part of a huge club.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.
“The aim for me at Everton is to win trophies and win games. I like to win. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I care and I am a passionate lad.
“The fans can guarantee they will get 110 per cent out of me when I am on the pitch.
“This is a club full of history that has an exciting team full of world-class players who will help me kick on to the next level. I am looking forward to working with them and, hopefully, having great times with Everton Football Club.
“Carlo Ancelotti, Marcel Brands and the Board want success for the Club and it is really exciting to be here.
“The manager’s past speaks for itself. He has worked with some top-class centre-backs. I will be able to learn so much from him and he is going to help me get to that next level, which is where I want to be.”
The deal ends Everton’s hunt for a fourth senior centre-back that has gone on for more than a year.
After failing to land Kurt Zouma on a permanent deal in the summer of 2019, Everton went into the campaign with only three senior defenders.
A host of names have been linked during this window, including Lille defender Gabriel, who has since joined Arsenal, Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori and Barcelona’s Jean-Clair Todibo.
Godfrey emerged as Carlo Ancelotti’s first choice in recent days, with the club accelerating their attempts to get a deal done before Monday’s deadline.
As detailed in our scouting report above, Godfrey shares many of his attributes with Mason Holgate, with former York youngster comfortable in possession and bringing the ball out of defence.
Speaking about the role he will play in the side, Godfrey added:
“I like to bring pace to the game. I like to play out from the back.
“I can play in a range of positions: left or right as a centre-back, I have played full-back and holding midfield. I will play wherever the manager sees fit as I absolutely trust his opinion.
“I have played at Goodison a few times for my previous club. It is an intimidating place to come when you are an away team.
“To have that support behind you on a game day will give you that extra yard, that extra 10 per cent, and I can’t wait to get out and play in front of the fans when they are able to return.
“I’m ready and raring to go. We have the international break now but I will come back after that and it will be time for work.”
It is also a deal that seems to suit all parties, with Norwich fans generally happy to receive a considerable fee for a player who may have reached his ceiling at Carrow Road, but who under the right guidance could go on to achieve great things.
His arrival is even more critical thanks to injuries to Mason Holgate and Jarrard Branthawite, who are both sidelined for the next few weeks.
With Lewis Gibson is out on loan at Reading, that leaves Michael Keane or Yerry Mina as the only senior central defenders.
If either of them pick up an injury during the international break, then Godfrey could making his Toffees debut against Liverpool when the Premier League resumes on 17 October.