Aston Villa hero Gabby Agbonlahor has admitted it will be “interesting” to see how Ben Godfrey’s situation at Everton develops.
What’s the word?
While speaking with Football Insider, Agbonlahor questioned why Everton would spend £25million on Godfrey to move to Goodison Park this summer, only for the former Norwich City defender to sit on the bench.
Godfrey made his Toffees debut as a first-half substitute at home to Liverpool in last month’s Merseyside Derby, before starting his first and only Premier League game of the season away to Southampton in the absence of the injured Seamus Coleman.
The return of Jonjoe Kenny against Newcastle later saw Carlo Ancelotti opt to omit Godfrey from his matchday plans, but returned the 22-year-old to the 18-man squad at home to Manchester United prior to the international break.
Michael Keane and Yerry Mina had locked out the central defensive roles over seven of the opening eight games of the top-flight season, however the latter found himself dropped in favour of Mason Holgate at home to the Red Devils having recovered from a pre-season toe injury.
Agbonlahor is in no doubt that having Holgate back, after featuring in 27 Premier League games last season, will be a huge boost for Ancelotti, though questions where it leaves Godfrey going forward.
“It was a big boost and I think that when Holgate is fit, he will start,” the former Villa striker noted. “He’s got all the attributes of a centre-half: He can play, he’s got pace, he’s good in the air. I think he’ll be the one that plays with Michael Keane.
“But you look at Ben Godfrey, who they bought for £25million, just to sit on the bench? It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks with that selection.”
Carlo’s easy decision
While Agbonlahor believes it will be interesting to see how things develop for Godfrey at Goodison Park over the next few weeks, Ancelotti has one easy decision to make regarding the 6 ft 1 centre-half’s immediate future and that is a cut throat one, to leave the Norwich product on the bench.
Keane and Mina combined well over the opening weeks to guide Everton to a solid start, while Holgate offered signs of promise upon his return that will leave Ancelotti considering an all-English pairing again when league action resumes away to Fulham on November 21.
Per 90 minutes in the top-flight this season, Holgate now averages the highest number of successful tackles (4.0) among Everton’s centre-half quartet with Keane (1.0) and Mina (0.43) also the lowest, per SofaScore.
Holgate also ranks joint-top with Mina for clearances (4.0), is out in front for ground duels won (5.0) and by not being dribbled past against Manchester United, stands stronger than Godfrey (0.6), Mina (0.14) and Keane (0.13) in that regard, too.
Ancelotti would be making an even-more questionable call by inserting Godfrey into his backline in place of Holgate or Keane, than should the Italian persist without the Canaries product.
AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti is set for a major £18m boost over Everton’s “courageous” dynamo.
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