The Athletic had reported that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be available for Everton’s Premier League match against West Ham United, with the 25-year-old striker yet to make an appearance this campaign after sustaining an injury in pre-season.
However, Frank Lampard did not include the striker in his matchday squad and is instead expected to wait until their clash against Southampton on Saturday, October 1 before reintroducing the Englishman into the side.
When explaining the reasoning behind this decision, Lampard said: “It was my choice with Dominic given the [injury] history and the international break we have coming up. It’s a chance for him to get even fitter after a slightly complicated injury. We have to be cautious with him rather than take a risk because we want him for the long-term so it was more of a precaution.
“I know everyone gets excited – I get asked questions about him every press conference – but, at the same time, we have to protect him a little bit so hopefully after the international break we’ll be seeing him.”
Frank Lampard Decides to Delay Dominic Calvert-Lewin Return to Everton Squad
Frank Lampard gives an update on why Dominic Calvert-Lewin is missing from today's Everton squad 👇pic.twitter.com/peWXcDKt6u
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 18, 2022
The Return of Everton’s Talisman
Calvert-Lewin’s importance to this Everton side, particularly after the departure of Richarlison, should not be underestimated and his imminent return to the squad is a massive boost for Frank Lampard.
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In seven Premier League games so far this season, Everton have netted just five times – only West Ham and Wolves have scored fewer. This is largely due to a lack of squad depth in this area of the pitch.
Frank Lampard keen to get Dominic Calvert-Lewin ‘fit and firing’ for Everton again https://t.co/59GXmtozrK pic.twitter.com/IoLmZjsqqe
— Indy Sport (@IndySport) September 16, 2022
Lampard has been forced to pick between either Salomon Rondon or deploying Anthony Gordon as a false nine. Rondon is a handful on his day, but cannot be relied upon to consistently score goals and Gordon is still learning his trade as a winger and using him as a false nine limits his effectiveness. The late arrival of Neal Maupay in the summer transfer window has provided Lampard with an alternative, however, he too is unreliable in front of goal.
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Calvert-Lewin’s return from injury then is vital for two main reasons. Firstly, if he can get back to his best, then he provides Lampard with a consistent source of goals – something this Everton side are desperately crying out for. Secondly, his return will provide his teammates with a focal point in attack. This should be of great benefit to the likes of Gordon, who will be able to return to his natural position on the wing and do what he does best.