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Newcastle: Ben Godfrey emerges as summer target

Newcastle: Ben Godfrey emerges as summer target -Newcastle United News

Ben Godfrey is one of Eddie Howe’s primary Newcastle United targets ahead of the summer transfer window, according to The Daily Mirror‘s chief sports reporter Tom Hopkinson. 

The lowdown

It was only in October 2020 that Everton shelled out £20m to sign Godfrey from Norwich City. He is now nearly 18 months into a five-year, £77k-per-week contract at Goodison Park.

The 24-year-old has made 59 appearances for the Toffees, operating in both full-back positions in addition to his preferred role in the heart of defence.

Gareth Southgate has also handed him two caps for England at senior level, in addition to playing nine times for the country’s under-21s.

The latest

Hopkinson wrote in The Daily Mirror that Howe is looking to strengthen his defensive options this summer, with Newcastle now ‘stepping up their interest’ in Godfrey.

The Magpies manager is a ‘big fan’ of the centre-back and had hoped to sign him in January. Howe has refused to give up on the pursuit, with the player near the top of the 44-year-old’s ‘wanted list’ ahead of 2022/23.

If Everton are relegated – they currently sit just three points above the drop zone in 17th – it could then prove very difficult for them to keep hold of the 24-year-old. Even if they stay up, Godfrey would have the incentive of a salary boost at St James’ Park.

The verdict

Godfrey possesses a strikingly similar profile to another reported Newcastle target in Lloyd Kelly – both are young English defenders who are comfortable at both centre-back and full-back.

The 24-year-old is a warrior of a defender, ranking in the 99th percentile among positional peers in the top five leagues for blocks per 90 minutes with 2.49. Data from FBRef suggests that there are shades of Diego Godin, the former Atletico Madrid defender who was once named in the UEFA Team of the Year, in his game.

Jamie Carragher dubbed him a ‘brilliant signing’ for Everton, while BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty said that he had been a ‘revelation’ on Merseyside.

It has been a dismal season for the Toffees, and perhaps Godfrey will be plotting a way out, which would be music to Newcastle’s ears.

In other news, Newcastle are also in the race for this signing

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Article title: Newcastle: Ben Godfrey emerges as summer target

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