Action stations for City recruit Ben Gibson
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ben Gibson is ready to be unleashed as part of Norwich City’s Championship challenge.
The on-loan Burnley defender looks set for a leading role at Carrow Road this season with Ben Godfrey set for a Friday medical on a club record £25m, plus add ons, move to Premier League Everton, agreed between the clubs late on Thursday night.
Daniel Farke had opted to pair Godfrey and Christoph Zimmermann together for City’s opening three league games.
But Gibson now comes firmly into Farke’s thoughts for Derby’s weekend Championship visit.
“We didn’t have to rush him,” he said, speaking prior to Everton’s improved offer accepted for Godfrey. “I have got the feeling he has adapted to the load. The first couple of weeks I would have been concerned to start him. Not because I don’t think he has potential. On the contrary that is why he made the squad for the first few games. I totally trust him.
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“He has worked very disciplined on his physical condition but let’s be honest his last professional game was two years ago.
“You can watch him growing more or less from week to week, but we had Christoph and Ben available and they kept many clean sheets the last time we were in this division.
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“Ben is a smart, intelligent football player and he understands what I want from him. He also has all the skills. He is strong in terms of the heading and a natural defender, but he is also there with technical skills. I like his vertical passes.”
Gibson is the only naturally left-sided option at Farke’s disposal among his senior centre backs, but the City chief is happy with his experienced options.
“All our centre backs are different in several ways. They could more or less all fit together,” he said. “Timm Klose has unbelievable technical ability and sometimes those players prefer to play on the left. Even if you would say it is naturally the wrong side.
“Look at (Virgil) van Dijk or Matts Hummels. It gives you the passing angle.
“I am pretty happy they are all versatile, and we also have the option to play the three man formation.
“We did that towards the end of the Preston game. We have the possibility to do that.”
Grant Hanley is another option the other side of the international break, after returning to full training following surgery.