Everton are currently 11th in the league, and with the top half of the table in tight competition for the European football positions, Rafa needs to start looking for ways to inject creativity and goals into the side.
Anthony Gordon could be the answer to the lack of creativity in Everton’s final third this season, after a devastating injury blow to star player, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The 20-year-old put on an impressive display scoring a brace against the Czech Republic in a 2-1 victory for the England U21s.
Not only did the Everton youngster score two goals, but this fantastic performance also came during his debut for Lee Carsley’s side and it’s safe to say he made it one to remember.
The outstanding performance came after Gordon completed his first 90 minutes for the Toffees last weekend against Tottenham Hotspurs, in a goalless draw at home.
There is no doubt that Gordon has given Rafa Benitez something to think about after delivering an attacking masterclass last night, although the Spanish manager already speaks highly of the youngster.
Speaking in the pre-match conference before Gordon starred in the Spurs clash at Goodison Park, Rafa talked briefly about Gordon making an impact on the first team:
“I’m really pleased for him. He’s growing and getting better. He has to keep balancing his game. He will be an important player for Everton in the future.”
Meanwhile, ex-Preston teammate Greg Cunningham dubbed him “exciting” during a loan spell last campaign, with David Unsworth also waxing lyrical about the 20-year-old gem before.
Speaking to The Athletic, he said: “His balance sprinting with the ball and his balance going past people is something you don’t see every day. He’s got unbelievable pace and he’s a Scouser too, so he’s tough.”
Everton are struggling to dominate in attack and find consistency with winning goals recently, after losing to both Wolves and Watford most recently, and unable to find the back of the net against Spurs at home, there is definitely room for improvement in the attacking prowess the Toffees need to display to stay in the conversation for Europe.
One of the more shocking scorelines to be seen so far this season was Everton’s heavy defeat to Watford last month. The Toffees lost the game from being 2-1 up to conceding four goals in quick succession.
Rafa Benitez spoke in the post-match interview to share his thoughts on the unexpected defeat.
‘I feel difficult to explain. We were winning 2-1 and in a few minutes, we conceded so many. It’s complicated for me to understand,’ he said, ‘we lost the confidence and everything’.
Everton face Manchester City after the international break and Gordan can be the boost of energy and confidence that could enable the Toffees take some points for the Premier League Champions.
Calvert-Lewin is still looking unlikely to return in time to make an impact, so an opportunity is there to be taken by the young scouse forward, if Benitez trusts to utilises his current form and confidence in front of goal.