Marco Silva placed his faith in Dominic Calvert-Lewin toward the end of the season, but the England Under 21 international has not convinced top Sky Sports pundit and Soccer Saturday regular Charlie Nicholas that he is the answer to Everton’s issues in attack.
Had it not been for a knock picked up in training ahead of our final day trip to Tottenham Hotspur, Calvert-Lewin would likely have started in North London to record his eleventh straight inclusion in the starting line-up.
In his run of ten straight starts, however, Sheffield-born Calvert-Lewin only scored two goals and registered one assist, despite acting more as a false-nine than an out-and-out leading striker in the eyes of Nicholas.
Being a false-nine rather than your typical lead man is also something Nicholas feels does not suit the way Silva would prefer the Toffees to play, and that Marcel Brands must sign a proven striker if we are to make progress in closing the gap to the top-six.
“Big decisions are to be made here,” Nicholas claimed. “Marco Silva has an idea of how he wants them to play but has not got it over to them yet.
“They don’t have a proper number nine. Dominic Calvert-Lewin never plays with a partner and is always on his own. They tried Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun there, but Everton are always at their best when they have a number nine with players around him.
“They need to identify what their team style is. I am all for plan A and plan B, but they have to get plan A right. Do they play a false-nine or a number nine? Either way, the manager needs to get his point across and understand what the team and personality is going to be.
“They are a million miles away from the top-six right now – even considering what the situations are like at Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.”
Nicholas also stated that Brands would need to add a further five players to the squad for next season, along with a new striker, once our Director of Football and Silva agree on the deadwood that should leave the club.