Everton have had an outstanding start to the season, and after their opening four games, Rafa Benitez’s side have amassed the same number of points as the league leaders.
The Spanish coach needed a quick start to life at Goodison Park after his controversial appointment but fortunately he’s managed to achieve results while his team plays eye-catching football.
Demarai Gray has hit the ground running and has now scored in three successive matches for the Toffees. They will need him to continue that record against Aston Villa on Saturday evening, though, because they will be without Dominic Calvert-Lewin again.
The striker had to withdraw from the latest England squad due to a broken toe but his injury problems have mounted, and according to Benitez, his situation is not improving.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the manager commented: “It’s what I said after the game. We have to wait some weeks, we don’t know exactly how many but he will not be available for two or three weeks.”
Calvert-Lewin currently has a quadriceps problem, but despite Everton winning and scoring three goals against Burnley last Monday, he will still be a huge loss on Saturday evening.
After all, he is the club’s star man and has become one of the most frightening strikers in the country.
The 24-year-old is a big figure at 6 foot 2 but he combines that frame with scintillating pace.
A nightmare for any defender in the division, he started the campaign by scoring three goals in three matches, continuing where he left off from last term – 2020/21 represented the best season of Calvert-Lewin’s career to date.
Furthermore, the Englishman joined an illustrious club of just Lukaku and Yakubu in scoring more than 15 goals for the Toffees in one campaign during the Premier League era.
On that evidence, not having him available at all times is a mighty blow to Benitez. The Spaniard will be gutted to be without the 24-year-old for a number of weeks.