Everton’s Ben Godfrey completed his first full match since he suffered a fractured fibula on the opening day of the season against Chelsea.
The defender featured for the under 21 side in their dramatic Football League Trophy win against League Two side Mansfield.
The 24-year-old underwent surgery after his last-ditch tackle on Kai Havertz caused the injury less than 10 minutes into the game. Evertonian’s were left raging after replays showed that the ball had actually gone out of play in the build up to the incident.
The England international showed signs of his old self during his side’s 2-1 victory, producing a hard-hitting tackle late on. His strong defensive style is why the Everton faithful took to him in the first place.
The decision came that Godfrey would stay and feature for Paul Tait’s U21 side rather than join the first team squad for their mid-season camp in Australia.
The Blue’s have found themselves a solid defensive pairing of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski. However, Coady will not be available to face his parent club when the Premier League returns from the World Cup on Boxing Day.
First 90 minutes in the legs😤 felt good been back at Goodison and get a win 🤘🏽 pic.twitter.com/tHKM8fm5Dz
— Ben Godfrey (@BenG0dfrey) December 1, 2022
So far, Godfrey has made 55 appearances for Everton since his transfer from Norwich in 2020. The deal was for an initial £20 million with the potential rise of £5 million through add-ons. He made his debut in the 237th Merseyside Derby, featuring at right back after Seamus Coleman came off through injury.
The former Norwich defender also got himself 57 valuable minutes in the U21’s defeat to Southampton. Godfrey featured in a back four against Southampton whereas he played on the right-hand side of a back three against Mansfield.
The versatility Godfrey provides has been key to him getting as many minutes as he has done during his early Everton career. Blues would argue that they have seen Godfrey’s best when he has played at left back when either Lucas Digne or Vitalii Mykolenko have been absent.
Frank Lampard will be thrilled with the player’s return to full fitness. Having an extra centre half at Lampard’s disposal will allow the Blues to change between a back four and a back three which the Everton manager has done frequently during his time on Merseyside.