Everton could be set for a big blow over the coming months after it was revealed Arsenal have set their sights on star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
According to reports, the Gunners have identified the highly-rated 24-year-old as a possible replacement for wantaway forward Alexandre Lacazette.
The France international is expected to depart the north London outfit either in January or as a free agent next summer following the expiration of his current contract, and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has already begun the search for his successor.
He’s reportedly in the market for a young goalscorer with Premier League experience to continue his policy of building a new squad around youth, with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins the alternative target.
However, the Toffees are expected to put up a fight for Calvert-Lewin, with the report stating: “Ambitious Everton will fight tooth and nail to keep top scorer Calvert-Lewin, who has established himself as Harry Kane’s England back-up over the past year.
“He signed a long-term Goodison deal worth £75,000-a-week last year, and it would cost upwards of £50million to prise him away from Merseyside.”
Calvert-Lewin has become a key player for Everton in recent seasons, scoring 32 Premier League goals in 72 appearances since the beginning of 2019/20.
Thus, losing their star striker and top scorer would be a seismic blow to any ambitions they have of qualifying for Europe next term.
His outstanding performances at club level have seen him become a regular member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad, where he’s the first-choice backup to captain Harry Kane.
Although he only made two substitute appearances throughout the summer as the Three Lions reached the Euro 2020 final, his presence as the only natural alternative to the Tottenham Hotspur star illustrates just how highly Calvert-Lewin is thought of.
The 6 foot 2 target man returned from his international exploits in emphatic form at the start of the current campaign, bagging a goal in each of Everton’s opening three top-flight fixtures before a broken toe sidelined him.
Calvert-Lewin’s departure would be a significant setback in the Goodison Park outfit’s plans under new manager Rafael Benitez, and the Spanish tactician will be hoping his key man remains on Merseyside for many years to come.
With Salomon Rondon struggling for goals, it only elevates the England international’s importance at Finch Farm; they simply have to keep him.
And, in other news…Report reveals exciting Everton transfer update, fans should be buzzing