Manchester United linked with in-demand English defensive ace: Right player, wrong timing?

Manchester United are monitoring the situation of Norwich City defender Ben Godfrey, according to Mirror.

Godfrey has been one of the rising stars in the Championship this season, having played a key role in Norwich’s promotion bid. And a move to Premier League could be on the horizon, with United keen on his services.

However, the Red Devils will face stiff competition from league rivals Arsenal while Lyon and RB Leipzig are believed to be interested in the defender as well.

Ben Godfrey to United: Not a logical destination for the defender at the moment?

Manchester United have had problems with lack of depth in their defensive department, despite boasting the services of no less than five centre-backs.

The likes of Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have struggled with frequent spells on the sidelines while Eric Bailly has failed to maintain his consistency over the course of the past two seasons, leaving Victor Lindelof as the only reliable option at the heart of the United backline.

Phil Jones has extended his contract till 2023 while Chris Smalling seems to be highly rated by the management amongst the current crop and even he extended his deal last December. But there are certain question marks regarding Marcos Rojo’s future at United and it won’t be too much of a surprise if United look to offload him in the upcoming summer transfer window and Ben Godfrey, in that regard, might turn out to be an interesting target if they do choose to bulk up their defensive options.

The 21-year-old has become an integral part of the Norwich backline, making 15 appearances in the Championship this season, 10 of which has come in Norwich’s last 11 league games.

Godfrey’s excellent passing(87% pass accuracy) has helped the Canaries maintain a healthy rate of possession week in week out. He has also averaged just under 0.8 interceptions per game while a tally of almost four clearances per game is indicative of his doggedness in defence.

The former Shrewsbury defender is normally a prudent tackler, who rarely likes to commit himself but an impressive tackle success rate of 78% is on par with the likes of Lindelof, Smalling and Jones. Therefore, he seems like an appealing option for United.

But, with the Red Devils seemingly keen on posing a stronger challenge for the title next season, it’s unlikely that they will be able to rely on the services of such an inexperienced defender, especially if they are to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.

As a result, Godfrey will likely play a sporadic role should he move to Old Trafford next season, something that will surely halt his growth, thus making United a risky move for the defender.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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