Date: 13th December 2019 at 8:30am
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Just how much is Ben Godfrey worth and how likely is it that Norwich City would consider selling him?

I think the answer to that would surely depend on our league position at the end of this season.

At the moment, things are looking pretty bleak. Staying up from here is going to take a monumental effort from the squad and coaches and let’s face it, Norwich are going to have to stop conceding so many goals. Strange then that a young defender at the heart of that defence should be attracting so much transfer speculation with huge sums of many being suggested as to his worth.

You may or may not be a subscriber to The Athletic, not everyone wants to pay for sports writing, but I’m one of those that do and I think it’s terrific  – second only to Vital Norwich in terms of its quality journalism 🙂

One of The Athletic’s journalists, David Ornstein writes a regular round-up of the Premier League and he wrote a few words on the future of Ben Godfrey last Monday.

“Ben Godfrey’s performances for Norwich are not going unnoticed by a number of Europe’s top sides. Borussia Dortmund and Lyon, two clubs who like tapping into the English market, have made checks on the 21-year-old centre-back, while Tottenham and Arsenal are also keeping an eye on his progress this season.

But The Athletic understands that Godfrey is rated so highly by Norwich that they would want around £50 million from any buying club. That valuation is gauged by Harry Maguire costing Manchester United £85 million and Adam Webster, who had only played Championship football, joining Brighton for £20 million from Bristol City.

Godfrey is captain of England under-21s and expected to make the step up to the seniors at some stage, while club sources believe he has many of the attributes required to become an elite defender, including exceptional speed and temperament.”

Godfrey, just like Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons is a young man/player that is gaining that all so valuable experience on the job. Let’s not forget that he has only been a regular in the Norwich City team for a year now, having stepped in to replace Timm Klose who became injured in the warm-up ahead of last December’s home game with Bolton Wanderers.

Ben has never looked back and been an ever-present, ever since. However, we mustn’t overlook the fact that he basically has half a season in the Championship and half a season in the Premier League for Norwich as well as that season-long-loan at Shrewsbury in 2017/18 under his belt.

As Ornstein rightly points out though, Godfrey seemingly has all the attributes to help him towards being a world-class centre-back, a phrase that Daniel Farke used to describe Ben’s potential when he was asked in the summer of 2018, surprising many with the suggestion that he saw Godfrey as a defender rather than the defensive midfielder that he had been used as at Shrewsbury to such good effect.

As I say, a lot will depend on City’s league position next May and then the vultures really will be circling, whether we’re in the top flight still, or not. It seems highly unlikely that any of the above-mentioned teams would make a January move for Ben but even if we do stay up, could City withstand an offer of £50m for a single player? I’d seriously doubt it.

Crystal Palace were unable to withstand a similar-sized bid for Aaron Wan-Bissaka last summer when Manchester United came knocking and the player’s head was turned. Why wouldn’t it be?
Wan-Bissaka had one decent season under his belt for Palace and he was also an England U21 regular. Sound familiar?

If Arsenal, Spurs or Borussia Dortmund came knocking, why wouldn’t he want to test himself on a bigger stage? This scenario could be exactly the same for Lewis, Aarons and Todd Cantwell in the near future too.

If Godfrey continues to play as regularly for City as he has been, and there’s no reason he won’t, and he continues to play for England’s young lions then he will surely be a target for a bigger club. That though is not a surprise to me and it shouldn’t be to you either. It’s just simple economics as we watch a fantastic young man/footballer make his way in the game.


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