Everton have been absolutely plagued with injuries in the first half of the season, with Rafael Benitez having to put together makeshift teams with key players missing for large chunks of the Premier League campaign so far.
As a result, it has left the Toffees 15th in the table after 17 games, but the impending return of one very influential player could change everything for the Merseyside club.
Having last played at the end of August due to a toe injury, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been teasing his return for a few weeks and injury expert Ben Dinnery has now claimed that, following his analysis, the 24-year-old is back available. He told Football Insider: “There is a big difference between being available and being fit. He is certainly available for selection.”
However, Dinnery also added a word of caution for the Everton manager regarding the usage of the striker, saying: “He has been out for the past four months now. To throw him into that highly pressurised environment is a very, very risky situation.”
The England international had sent a video message to a fan just before Christmas and made the claim of a potential of a return to the team on Boxing Day. However, with further Premier League fixture postponement, Everton are yet to play since 16 December, but it could be a blessing in disguise in terms of allowing Calvert-Lewin further time to recover fully from his injury.
Some Everton fans have made no secret about their excitement for Calvert-Lewin’s return, with plenty taking to social media when news travelled on his imminent return.
The club’s official Twitter account posted pictures of training this afternoon and there were numerous replies expressing glee over the sight of the 24-year-old, who it seems is closing in on a comeback to action.
There is no doubt that Benitez will be thrilled and relieved with the return of the prolific striker, as his side really need to start picking up points. Their last 13 league games have yielded just two wins, with last season’s 21-goal top scorer being sorely missed in that time, not least as he had carried over his fine form into the early weeks of the current campaign prior to his injury.
What better way to kick off the New Year than the potential return of Calvert-Lewin, especially if it accompanies a win against Brighton at Goodison Park on Sunday. With the Seagulls being the last team he faced (and scored against), a goalscoring return to the fold this weekend would seem quite fitting.