Carlo Ancelotti was a headline signing for Everton, brought in to show that the club means business and is looking to challenge at the top of the Premier League. The Italian three-time Champions League winner has been tasked with raising the level of all the players at Goodison Park, and this has been evident in the recent transformation of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The 23-year-old marksman has made incredible improvements and his form at the start of the 2020-21 campaign has reflected this. Indeed, Calvert-Lewin’s early-season performances earned a debut England call-up, and there is now talk of him becoming a future star for his country.
Incredible Start to the Season
Calvert-Lewin became the leader of the Everton attack under caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson in the 2019-20 campaign. When Ancelotti took the reins, it was clear that he envisioned the Englishman as his spearhead. That could be considered the former Sheffield United man’s breakout year, as he notched an impressive tally of 13 goals and one assist from 2621 minutes.
This season, however, Calvert-Lewin looks set to smash his career-best record in an Everton shirt. He managed eight goals in his first seven games of the 2020-21 campaign and has displayed a newfound hunger and desire in front of goal. A lot of his finishes have been scrappy, but he has been getting into the right places at the right times in order to snaffle up chances when they come.
Calvert-Lewin stated that his positioning is one of the main things that Ancelotti has helped him work on in training. This red hot streak has led some pundits to compare the tall center-forward with another one of Ancelotti’s past charges, Filippo Inzaghi. The Italian hitman was a big factor in helping Ancelotti to his two Champions League titles at AC Milan.
Ancelotti Pulling Power
It hasn’t just been Ancelotti’s coaching that has improved this Toffees side, it has also been to do with his pulling power in attracting star players to the club. Few would disagree that without the Italian at the helm at Goodison Park, there would have been little chance of James Rodriguez joining. However, the Colombian playmaker worked with Ancelotti at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, so was eager to play again for the boss he held in such high esteem.
Rodriguez had a couple of seasons in the wilderness during which time he didn’t play much competitive football, but he has returned with a bang at Everton and helped turn the side into top-four challengers. Indeed, at the time of writing the Merseyside outfit can be backed at 9/2 in the football betting to finish in the Champions League spots.
It’s the impeccable delivery of Rodriguez that has helped Calvert-Lewin to shine this term. The young striker could easily replicate this at England level as well, where there are other amazing crossers of the ball in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier.
The Ideal Game Changer
While Ancelotti has turned Calvert-Lewin into a star striker at Everton, he may be best utilized as an impact substitute for England at the present time. When fit, there is no doubt that Gareth Southgate would stick with Harry Kane as the leader of the line. However, Calvert-Lewin’s aerial threat and potency could be deadly against tired defenses when the manager wants to try a different tactic. If he manages to grab late goals that turn the tides of contests for England, the Everton man would certainly become a legend for his country following this ‘super transformation of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’.
Calvert-Lewin is becoming a more complete striker under Ancelotti, there is no denying that. But at the moment, he is more of a goal poacher than an all-rounder like Kane. If he can add a few more attributes to his overall game, Calvert-Lewin may be able to step up into Kane’s shoes for England when the Tottenham Hotspur man eventually retires and he could make a name for himself as a deadly game changer for his country.
(Feature Image Courtesy: Everton FC)