A knee injury has troubled Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin this season, but is his return to fitness in time to be considered for England’s World Cup squad?
Calvert-Lewin started his second Premier League game of the season on Saturday, securing the opener as the Blues produced an impressive display. They beat Crystal Palace 3-0.
It was even better for the 25-year-old that his smart turn and finish in the 11th minute saw him in front of England manager Gareth Southgate, who rewarded his tireless performance with a standing ovation when he came off at Goodison in the second half. the park
“It’s been a while, one I’ve been waiting for, one I’ve been looking forward to and I felt like myself. It’s been a long time but great to get the result,” said Calvert-Lewin.
“As a striker you feed off confidence and you feed off goals. It’s been a lot of work to get that first goal so I’m over the moon.”
Asked if he had done enough to catch the manager’s eye ahead of England’s World Cup squad being announced next month, Calvert-Lewin added: “It’s every boy’s dream to go to the World Cup. I’ve been counting the days until I get back on the pitch and do everything I can for Everton. It’s about playing my best, scoring goals and seeing where that takes me.”
Southgate will name a 26-man squad to take to Qatar for England’s opening game against Iran on November 21.
Calvert-Lewin was part of the England squad that reached the final of Euro 2020, although he only played 18 minutes in the tournament.
He has scored four goals in 11 appearances for Southgate, who made his England debut against Wales in October 2020, but has not featured since last summer after suffering an injury in the 2021-22 season.
However, Everton boss Frank Lampard said he was “delighted” Calvert-Lewin showed Southgate firing at Goodison Park and believes he may have “a case” to be on the plane to Qatar.
“I know how much he wants to force himself into that picture. He loves playing for his country and has been involved many times before,” Lampard told BBC Sport.
“His injury has been a huge frustration for him. The only thing I would say is I’m not going to pick Gareth’s team at all, but Dominic knows what he can do because he’s worked with him before.”
England captain Harry Kane is the undisputed first-choice centre-forward, but there is competition for the back-up role.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney was first called up for the Nations League games against Italy and Germany in September and has already scored eight goals in 11 games this season.
Toney has been in good form, but Leeds’ Patrick Bamford, who is yet to score this season, and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins, with just one goal, have struggled to make their mark.
Newcastle’s Callum Wilson has three goals in seven games, while Roma’s Tammy Abraham has two goals in 10 Serie A games.
“Dominic needs to show how fit and fresh he is for Everton and today was a complete performance, which makes him an England striker, an Everton striker and a Premier League striker,” added Lampard.
“The rest will be picked by Gareth. If he can stay fit, maybe he can do it.”