Former Everton captain Alan Stubbs has endorsed the capabilities of Everton star Ben Godfrey – but has cautioned against the player’s versatility being weaponised against him.
The 23-year-old England international has proven to be a mainstay in the heart of Everton defences under both Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez, but the former Norwich City ace has also found himself being deployed as an auxiliary full-back on occasion.
Following his £20 million deadline day arrival last season, Godfrey has proven his capabilities all over the pitch – but Stubbs has warned that Godfrey is most settled in his natural central role, and the York-born ace is best-placed there.
He told the ECHO:
“It’s an area (central defence) where the previous managers have looked at it because it needed improving but the players they have there now are all very different and there aren’t really two alike.
“For me, Ben Godfrey will be the best out of all of them and it will be him and one other at some point.
“Once he gets more experience, he has fantastic attributes to be very good but the one thing you need as a defender is experience because it helps you improve so much.”
In terms of Godfrey filling in at full-back, Stubbs added:
“It’s great that he can do that but when you can play in a few positions, while it’s useful for the manager, it doesn’t necessarily help the individual at times.
“Hopefully they can get Seamus (Coleman) back fit again and get Godfrey a real good run of games in that central role because I think everybody would agree that’s going to be his position because versatility can be your downfall.”
Read Everton Verdict
At such a young age, being able to boast a utility defender is a useful asset for any manager.
It only adds to the value for money the club can boast in yielding from the former Canaries star, but Godfrey alone should not be relied upon to address vital depth gaps in the squad.
For one, the absence of Seamus Coleman has exposed the need for an out-and-out right-back. The club’s previous interest in now-Inter defender Denzel Dumfries is a testament to where Everton chiefs feel the recruitment priority lies, and the position could be revisited in future windows.