Former Everton striker Andy Johnson says the hunger of “fantastic” Dominic Calvert-Lewin will ensure he prospers for many years to come.
Fresh from netting the winner for England Under-20s in the World Cup final last summer, Calvert-Lewin has been a regular up front for the Blues this term, plundering seven goals and providing four assists (plus winning two penalties).
The majority of the 20-year-old’s 31 appearances in all competitions this season have been as a lone striker, a role Johnson knows the difficulty of mastering.
But Johnson, now 36, has been impressed with the way the youngster has shouldered the responsibility.
“I really like Dominic,” Johnson told evertonfc.com while on a recent visit to Goodison Park. “I think he’s fantastic. For such a young lad to take on that responsibility with the team being in a difficult situation like it was, I think he’s done fantastic. He gets up, he’s horrible, he’s nasty, he wins the ball. For his age and the way he affects the game I think he’s fantastic.
“Unless you’ve got a little Australian lad called Timmy Cahill flying in behind you like I had, playing up front on your own is really, really tough. But Dominic is doing well, he’s causing all kinds of problems, he’s quick, he’s strong and he’s hungry, which is what I like to see.”
Everton paid what was then a Club-record fee of £8.6million for the man nicknamed ‘AJ’ to win the race for his signature in the summer of 2006.
In total, he spent two years with the Toffees, scoring 22 goals in 74 appearances.
Reflecting on his time on Merseyside, Johnson said: “I loved it. It’s an amazing club and I didn’t realise how big it was until I left really.
“It’s top class, the fans are great, I had a great set of lads around me, great management staff and I scored some goals here and got some really good memories.
“Of course I miss playing now. Just watching it from the stands, you wish you were out there trying to affect the game. You miss the banter as well with the boys. I think that’s the hardest thing to adapt to when you finish - coming out of that dressing room with 20, 30 lads for 20 years it’s tough and I miss it.”