Everton manager Rafa Benitez has revealed the latest information regarding striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s fitness, with the striker set to be involved in the Toffees’ next league game against Newcastle.
The Spaniard was left furious after the Merseyside club’s request to have their meeting with the Clarets postponed was rejected by the Premier League with the Blues dealing with an injury crisis. The fixture has since been postponed due to positive cases in the Everton camp.
Everton have a seriously limited roster of players to select from, with some U23s facing a call-up to the first-team, particularly in the attacking areas with the likes of Richarlison, Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray unavailable.
This has given Benitez no choice but to involve Calvert-Lewin for the first time since the Englishman suffered a toe injury that has kept him sidelined for three months.
On the lack of available players, Benitez said: “The reality is some of these players include Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been out injured for two months. We have other players with knocks and we will have to push them.
“They are not fit and who will take responsibility if something happens to them because they have to play 90 minutes? We are exposing them.”
The situation is certainly strange, but it will be a huge relief for Everton fans to see the star striker back playing. However, there will also certainly be concern regarding whether or not the 24-year-old’s injury is aggravated, therefore prolonging his spell on the sidelines.
The Toffees have been lucky that both Andros Townsend (three) and Demarai Gray (five) have been able to chip in with goals during Calvert-Lewin’s absence, however, they will be desperate to have their best forward back available.
Calvert-Lewin was a major presence for the Toffees last season, then under Carlo Ancelotti, as the Englishman scored 21 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions.
Moreover, the 24-year-old had scored in each of his three Premier League appearances this campaign before picking up his injury, further highlighting the difference he can make to this Everton team.
Everton fans will have high expectations for the England international, however, there is plenty of evidence that he can meet if not exceed those desires.
If he comes back and hits the ground running instantly, supporters will no doubt be over the moon.