Everton return to action this weekend following a problematic campaign in the Premier League last season which saw them struggle in a relegation battle while contending with a number of injury issues, and a new update has emerged which will worry the club.
What’s the latest?
Frank Lampard has taken to his pre-match press conference to give a more detailed analysis of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s knee injury, claiming that the player is set to be absent for around six weeks.
Lampard told the press: “Losing a player like Dominic, with his quality, in the week going into the first game is obviously going to affect you.”
“I think we’re probably looking at around six weeks for the injury. I saw a lot of crazy rumours yesterday, but he’s been assessed over a couple of days and that’s where we’re at.”
Lampard will be gutted
Following his report on the 25-year-old, Lampard will surely be gutted to lose his most valuable player (as per Transfermarkt), and the blow will be especially disappointing considering that Richarlison is no longer with the club, having moved to Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
The Goodison Park faithful will be especially concerned with the news, as Calvert-Lewin also spent a large chunk of 2021/22 sidelined with a quad injury and a fractured toe. He did return in the second half of the season but failed to recapture his best form, with just five goals scored in 17 league appearances overall, three of which came prior to his long convalescence.
That was still the fourth-highest goal tally of anyone at Everton last term, and the highest of any centre-forward (Transfermarkt), so Lampard’s reliance on him is no secret.
Calvert-Lewin’s absence was a clear contributor to the team’s struggles over the campaign, with Everton failing to dominate matches and convert goal-scoring opportunities on many occasions, finishing the season scoring 23 fewer goals than they conceded and underperforming on their xG.
As a result, Lampard has two options – he can wait it out to see if Calvert-Lewin makes a full recovery over the next six weeks, or make stronger attempts to acquire another reliable scorer over the remaining four weeks of the transfer window.
Should Everton sign another striker?
Indeed, Everton have been linked with a number of forwards this summer, with Alassane Plea, Armando Broja and Adama Traore all named as potential transfer targets who could come in to strengthen the front-line. However, it remains to be seen if the Toffees will advance on their interest in those players and secure a deal for another forward.
There are big decisions to be made by the powerbrokers at Goodison Park regarding the best way to improve their weakened attacking threat, but for now Lampard will need to work with the talent that he has available in the squad to ensure that they can challenge Chelsea when they host his former club tomorrow evening.