Dominic Calvert-Lewin says winning a first senior England call-up is the realisation of a childhood dream, as he set out his ambition to transfer his exceptional goalscoring form for Everton to international football.
The striker paid tribute to Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti and his Blues teammates “for helping me get to this level” and revealed his mother “burst into tears of joy” after he broke the news of his call-up.
The 23-year-old has been named alongside Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and defender Michael Keane in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Three Lions’ upcoming Wembley matches against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.
Calvert-Lewin has delivered a series of outstanding centre-forward performances as Ancelotti’s Blues have kicked off the season with six consecutive victories.
He has featured in five of those matches and scored eight goals.
“I’m a very, very proud man to get this first England call,” Calvert-Lewin told evertonfc.com.
“I just phoned my mum and my dad, and my mum burst into tears.
"It’s something we’ve spoken about since I was a young boy. To get here now and get the call-up is a dream come true. I’m very happy.
“I found out with a text message [from the FA].
“Pickers and Keano were obviously named in the squad and they were saying, ‘Have you got the text yet?’.
“I went to my phone and saw the text message… I didn’t really know how to feel, if I’m being honest. I’ve thought about this moment so many times.
“To finally get that recognition of a senior England call-up, it’s something I’ve worked very hard for.
“I’m very thankful to my manager at Everton and my teammates for helping me get here.”
He added: “If you play football as a kid, you dream of playing for your country. I’m no different.
"I’m enjoying my football, I’m confident on the pitch and I believe I’m going to score every time I step on the pitch.
"Hopefully that won’t be any different when I pull on an England shirt."
Calvert-Lewin’s remarkable goalscoring tally this season includes two hat-tricks – the striker netted trebles in the Toffees’ 5-2 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion and in Wednesday night’s 4-1 Carabao Cup success against West Ham United.
Calvert-Lewin, who joined Everton from Sheffield United in 2016, has been a regular for his country at age group level and struck seven goals in 17 appearances for England Under-21s.
In 2017, Calvert-Lewin scored the winner for England against Venezuela in the Under-20 FIFA World Cup.
Everton defender Keane, meanwhile, will be hoping to add to his 10 England caps in the Three Lions’ upcoming games.
The 27-year-old is the only Toffees player to have started in each of the Blues’ six victories this term.
As well as his consistently polished defensive performances, the 27-year-old has twice been on the scoresheet, having struck against West Brom and Salford City.
Goalkeeper Pickford has been a fixture in England squads since making his senior international debut in November 2017.
Pickford played a starring role in the Three Lions’ run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and has won 26 caps to date.
England take on Wales in a friendly match at Wembley on 8 October.
The national stadium will also host England’s Nations League double-header against Belgium (11 October) and Denmark (14 October).