How do Everton replace Dominic Calvert-Lewin? The answer is an easy one; they probably can’t.
The Toffees have found that out the hard way in the last couple of weeks with Richarlison and now Salomon Rondon struggling to replicate the Englishman’s game.
Richarlison starred up front for Brazil at the Tokyo Olympics with his five goals leading them to a famous gold medal.
Yet, despite Everton beating Burnley 3-1 last weekend, he was poor in the final third. During the course of the match, he completed just 64% of his passes in a difficult display.
The Brazilian wasn’t in the squad for their trip to Aston Villa on Saturday evening as Rondon was rewarded with his first start in Everton colours. He has been a loyal servant to Rafa Benitez throughout his career and is now playing for the Spaniard at his third club.
However, he did little to prove why the manger brought him to Goodison Park on transfer deadline day as they suffered a torrid 3-0 defeat.
Everton didn’t trouble Emi Martinez much in the Villa goal, with Rondon having little impact in the final third. He did receive a chance at the near post in the first half but prodded wide in what was his most promising moment of the entire encounter.
The Venezuelan was taken off just after the hour mark having endured a nightmare display at the first real opportunity he’s had to impress Toffees supporters.
During the course of his time on the field, Rondon completed just five of his 13 passes, leading to a success rate of only 38%. That was comfortably the worst tally of any player to start the clash from either side.
Furthermore, he gave away possession 11 times from 18 touches, which means that for every 1.6 touches he had of the ball, Rondon was losing it to the opposition. On top of that, the powerful striker also failed to show much in terms of his physicality, winning only five of the 20 duels that he contested.
The forward will hopefully improve in due course but at the moment he has an ideal opportunity to actually play ahead of the injured Calvert-Lewin.
It’s unlikely that it will happen again this season, so Rondon simply has to take advantage of the game-time that he’s set to earn. This was not a good start.