It’s not often that Everton have secured themselves a bargain in the transfer market in recent years, but the acquisition of Dominic Calvert-Lewin certainly comes into that bracket.
The 24-year-old was signed for a reported £1.5m fee from Sheffield United back in 2016, and the youngster has gone from strength to strength ever since.
After scoring a respectable – if unimpressive – 17 goals in his first 94 appearances for the Toffees between 2016/17 and 2018/19, the rangy striker’s progress has catapulted over the last couple of campaigns.
A return of 15 goals in 2019/20 was followed up by 21 strikes last term, resulting in Calvert-Lewin being handed a new £72,000-per-week five-year contract in March 2020, highlighting his importance to the Merseyside outfit.
“This is a very proud day,” the England international said after putting pen to paper. “I like to think I have shown I am ready to live up to the expectations of being Everton’s number nine, but I am well aware of how much I need to improve and how much better I can do.
“I love where I am, and the position I am in, and I love playing for Everton Football Club. We want to be in Europe and competing in the top competitions.
“It would mean that bit more to win trophies here because of the journey I have been on with Everton and Evertonians. Personally, I want to get to that next level.”
And the youngster made great strides towards fulfilling his potential under former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, with the experienced Italian tactician even comparing him to AC Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi.
“Calvert-Lewin is faster. Calvert-Lewin is better with the head. Calvert-Lewin is stronger than him,” stated Ancelotti. “If Inzaghi listens to this he will kill me! But I have to say, Inzaghi in the box was the best striker that I ever had.
“I think this is natural instinct. He can be dangerous like Inzaghi in the box, for sure. He is faster than any defender, he jumps higher than any defender. It is a question of movement and details. He has to be focused, and he is. He is focused in the box.”
He has spent much of the current campaign out injured but the 6 foot 2 beast’s impressive exploits for both club and country have seen his market value soar to a mouth-watering £40.5m in recent months, illustrating how Everton’s hierarchy struck gold by picking him up for such a minimal fee five years ago.
The Toffees have spent poorly down the years but this was undoubtedly one of their better buys.