Questions are being asked at Tottenham over the club’s failure to push Everton harder to the signing of Ben Godfrey.
The defender joined the high-flying Merseysiders in early October for £25million rising to a potential £30m in a deal first revealed by Football Insider.
Godfrey has made a huge impression at Everton despite strong competition for centre-back roles from fellow Englishmen Mason Holgate and Michael Keane as well as Yerry Mina.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Godfrey had been on Spurs’ radar for a long time before his move to Everton.
They enquired about him in December 2019, nearly a year before he left Norwich, but were knocked back at the time.
At the time the agreement was struck for Godfrey to join Everton, their strongest competition for his signature came from newly-promoted Fulham.
Internal questions have been asked at Tottenham in recent times about why they did not challenge more strongly for a young English player who now looks destined for big things.
The inquest has come from some senior club figures.
At Everton, Carlo Ancelotti is said to regard Godfrey as the best of the four senior centre-backs at his disposal and the one with the greatest potential.
Spurs were in the market for a new centre-back last summer and eventually signed Joe Rodon from Swansea City on deadline day.
The Wales international, 23, is the same age as Godfrey and of a similar profile, although a good deal cheaper.
He cost £11m rising to a potential £15m.
Rodon has made a reasonable impression at Spurs but he is not regarded as being in the same class as the Everton star.
Godfrey, who joined Norwich from York City in 2016, established himself as a key player at Carrow Road as they stormed to the Championship title in 2018-19.
He then had an immensely promising debut Premier League campaign at Norwich despite their relegation.
That was enough to secure top-level interest and the eventual transfer to Everton.
Godfrey has demonstrated his versatility by slotting in at centre-back, right-back and left-back in his debut campaign.
He was used alongside Keane and Holgate in a three-man defence in Thursday’s 1-0 win against West Brom.