Norwich City boss Daniel Farke has claimed that he is proud that Everton’s Ben Godfrey and Leicester City’s James Maddison are thriving in the Premier League, adding that he was sad to lose them but they’d outgrown the club.
Both players have been sold to top-flight clubs in recent years, raising more than £45 million in combined reported transfer fees.
Maddison left the Canaries to join Leicester in 2018, while Godfrey signed for Everton last summer after the Norfolk club were relegated down to the Championship.
Both players have impressed at their respective clubs this season and, speaking in a press conference with club media, Farke has revealed his pride at their success.
He said: “I’m delighted for James [Maddison] and Ben [Godfrey]. Sometimes I have time to sit on the sofa and watch their games.
“With James, we wanted to improve him here rather than going out on loan. With Ben, we wanted to move him to Shrewsbury.
“I’m proud of them. You can bring a young player in but it’s down to them to make the step through the door. It’s good that we produce such talents. Young players are always in good hands at Norwich City. Sadly, Ben and James are not my players anymore. They had outgrown the club and we had to accept this.”
Norwich and Farke have had a fantastic record of bringing through young players, with the likes of Jamal Lewis and Jacob Murphy having secured moves to top-flight clubs in recent years.
It seems to be paying dividends for the Canaries as well, as they look on course to bounce straight back up to the Premier League this season.
They’re not short of young exciting players either, with Todd Cantwell, Emi Buendia, and Max Aarons all drawing the interest of big clubs in the past two windows.
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Farke deserves a lot of credit for the development of both Maddison and Godfrey, so you can understand why he’d be proud to see them flourishing in the Premier League.
Some Canaries fans may object to his claim that they’d outgrown the club but the way both have been playing in the top flight this term, it’s hard to argue with it.
Norwich’s strategy of bringing through young talent, cashing in on them, and reinvesting has been clear in recent years, and at the moment it certainly seems to be working for them.