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Should Dominic Calvert-Lewin Be Everton’s Leading Man

Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets tackled by Micky van de Ven

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to start for Everton, despite failing to score in his last 18 matches for the club. This leads many fans to question his place in the starting lineup and whether he has a future beyond this season as the number one option.

Is Dominic Calvert-Lewin Everton’s Frontman Moving Forward?

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Do the Tactics Play a Part?

Manager Sean Dyche has changed the tide. The Goodison faithful now once again believe that they have someone at the helm who could take them up the table. The team has earned 29 points in the premier league this season, but due to a 10-point deduction, find themselves sitting 18th and in a relegation battle. One thing that Dyche hasn’t solved, is the issue with finding the back of the net. Scoring just 26 goals, 13 of which from open play, has them towards the bottom of the table, despite earning the most clean sheets in the league.

Under the Englishman, the Toffees have created many chances this season, ranking in the top half of the league in shots created, shots on target, and expected goals (xG). Despite this they are ranked 17th in goals scored this season.

Everton’s attacking game is based on fast counterattacks where wingers Dwight McNeil and Jack Harrison have excelled this year. Along with this, The Toffees have scored half of their league goals from set pieces this season.

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A high degree of focus for the lead man is often to hold up play for oncoming wingers or to gain a free kick in the forward half. A lack of possession and build-up play isn’t necessarily conducive to prolific striker play. A total of four league goals have been scored by strikers in the squad this season, the worst output by any team this term.

Is Dominic Calvert-Lewin The Problem?

Calvert-Lewin has been the leading man for the Toffees over the last six seasons. The former Sheffield United striker has scored 50 times in 201 premier league appearances. A conversion rate that doesn’t look to be that of a starting striker for a team aiming to climb the table. But when signed for £1.5 million at nineteen-years-old it was seen as a move for the future.

DCL’s best season was under Carlo Ancelotti in the 2020/21 campaign, in which he netted 16 league goals, good enough for 6th in the Golden Boot rankings. A run of injuries followed and the striker has failed to score more than five times in any campaign since.

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This season Dyche has turned to the 26-year-old to be the frontman in all games he has been available for. His ability to chase down long balls, hold up ability and press the defence are traits that lend themselves to the manager’s style of play. But the goals have not followed, a seeming lack of confidence and inability to finish chances he helps create for himself has caused questions about whether he is the main man going forward. With three league goals from 8.9 xG, the striker has let a lot of chances go to the wayside and the club may look to other options to solve their scoring woes.

What Are The Other Options

Amid his struggles over the previous two seasons, Everton went out and signed Portuguese duo Beto and Youssef Chermiti in the last summer transfer window. The former signing from Udinese for £21.2 million, showing a clear intent from the club to improve their output upfront. The striker scored 21 goals over his previous two Serie A campaigns, far exceeding Calvert-Lewin’s output. But the former Portimonense striker has similarly let chances slip through his fingers, scoring just one league goal from 3.2 xG.

Chermiti is a prospect that the Toffees will look to develop, appearing in only 65 minutes in the premier league this season. His cameos have shown some promise, but until a steady amount of game time has been played it will be hard to tell if he will live up to his £10.5 million price tag.

The club is faced with a tight budget for the upcoming summer transfer window. Unless a major sale happens the team will likely be heading into the next season with the same crop of frontmen, with the Englishman still being the best option to carry out the manager’s tactics.


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