Marcel Brands has opened up on the form of Ben Godfrey and revealed that Everton had the defender on their radar for two years before making their move for him.
The centre-back was a deadline day transfer in the summer from Norwich City for £20m and has wasted no time in making himself a key figure at his new club.
After proving his versatility with a stint at left-back covering for the injured Lucas Digne and also stepping onto the right side of defence on occasion, the 23-year-old is now being used predominantly as a centre-back by Carlo Ancelotti.
And, speaking at Everton's USA Live event on Saturday, Brands opened up on Godfrey's form so far - praising him for how quickly he has adapted to the club.
The director of football also revealed how one Farhad Moshiri decision elevated the Norwich man right to the top of the club's priority list.
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Brands remarked: “Yeah he’s [Godfrey] been terrific!
“He was on our list already for two years, and when I had the discussion this summer with Carlo, the chairman and our owner we had to decide if we were looking for a centre-back on loan or if we want to buy.
“Our owner preferred to do a permanent, so Ben Godfrey was the first one on our list - and I think we did our homework well.
“He’s a great character, great athlete. He really adapted quickly to the level and to the club.
“I think the fans loved him from the beginning and that’s a good thing to see.”
Brands also went on to discuss the leadership currently in place in the squad.
He believes that when the time comes for Everton to need a new captain there are a number of options, including Godfrey, who could step into the role.
“We have a few of the young guys," the Blues director of football added.
“I think Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate - and of course we have Lucas Digne - are boys that are good examples, have good characters and want to take responsibility.
“I think we have some leadership potential in our current squad.”