Everton’s offensive focal point Dominic Calvert-Lewin is approaching a return to competitive action after a prolonged period severely hampered by consistent setbacks.
What’s the word?
As relayed by the ECHO, Lampard recently expressed his relief at welcoming the club’s talisman back into the thick of the competitive preparations, although it is still unclear if he will be available for the City clash.
“Having Dominic back in the fold is a great thing for us because players who can make a difference at the top end of the pitch means points.”
It appears to be touch-and-go regarding his inclusion in the starting line-up, if indeed the matchday squad, and it will be an agonising wait over the next 24 hours as the medical department assess the likelihood of his availability.
DCL is a “beast”
The 25-year-old hotshot has scored 59 goals and assisted a further 18 from 197 appearances for the Toffees, and the chasm left by his absence this season has certainly been felt by his team, who currently fight against the vice of the relegation zone, just one point away from the 17th placed strugglers.
And in his most prolific season, the £86k-per-week phenom scored 21 goals and served five assists from 39 appearances across all competitions, playing an integral role for his team as they completed an impressive tenth-placed finish.
However, this season Calvert-Lewin has been restricted to just six outings, scoring one solitary goal.
As per FBref, despite his injury woes, Calvert-Lewin ranks within the top 2% of forwards for aerial success rate over the past year, indicating a towering presence that the Toffees have been missing might bear fruit for the side upon his return.
Once lauded as a “beast in the air” by journalist Josh Wright, his inclusion is simply paramount, Everton cannot afford to continue the downward slump; it will lead to the unthinkable prospect of relegation from the Premier League.
Should Everton persist with Calvert-Lewin?
And with the Merseyside outfit only scoring 12 goals in the division this term – a lowly tally worsened only by Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest – someone of Calvert-Lewin’s ilk simply must enter the fray at Goodison Park and navigate the proud club away from danger.
City, in retrospect, have scored the league’s highest goal tally with 43 strikes, 31 goals above Everton, and it truly will take something spectacular to rebuff their advances.
Especially with the Toffees losing ten matches on the trot against their menacing opposition; it will not be easy, but Lampard will demand a cohesive and resilient performance, and when they do have the chance to break and threaten the City goal, they will feel far better about their forward surges with the imposing Calvert-Lewin lurking in the penalty area.
That’s if he is fit enough to feature, so the manager will certainly be sweating over his availability heading into kick-off on Saturday.