Everton icon Leon Osman has hailed Dominic Calvert-Lewin in an interview with the Daily Star, noting the way the England U21 international has handled the burden of leading the Blues attack under Marco Silva.
The 22-year-old was tasked with spearheading our attack for much of the latter half of the boss’ inaugural season at Goodison Park, after the Portuguese grew tired of placing his faith in Cenk Tosun without seeing an end product to justify his time on the field.
Calvert-Lewin also struggled to find the back of the net, but offered a focal point for Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Gomes to pick out, while opening space for Richarlison and Bernard to spread the opponent’s backline.
A similar role will likely not be on the cards for the Sheffield-born talent in the new term, however, as Juventus’ Moise Kean is due to sign for the club imminently, after Director of Football Marcel Brands closed negotiations with the Serie A giant toward the end of the week.
The Italian teenager’s arrival on Merseyside should free some of the burden from Calvert-Lewin’s shoulders, but Osman feels the £18million-rated Blades product has it within himself to become a 15-goal-per-season striker.
“Calvert-Lewin has had a lot on his young shoulders over the last couple of seasons,” the retired midfielder noted.
“I think he’s done really well and is developing all the time. His all-round game has kicked on massively, in my opinion, in the last 18 months. If he can add a guaranteed 15-plus [goals], maybe getting close to 20-goals-a-season, then he could be the all-round package.
“But either way, he [Silva] needs a bit of reinforcement [and appears to have found that in Kean].”
Osman also addressed the club’s permanent capture of Andre Gomes from FC Barcelona, and suggested Goodison Park will offer the midfielder the perfect home to continue rebuilding his once-stuttering career.
“If you look at his game, little moments over the course of the season, he showed what he’s capable of,” he added. “I think the great thing for Everton is it he made it clear this was his only destination.
“Other clubs came enquiring about him after his performances last season, but he only wanted to come to Everton.
“If you get a player who feels like that, comes in and feels very comfortable within the walls, but is still able to show his true ability – and we’ve seen he’s got an awful lot – then I expect to see possibly an even better season from him.”
Gomes started in 24 of his 27 Premier League appearances last season, in which he scored once and assisted once from 21 shots and six key passes.