Dominic Calvert-Lewin is making good on his youthful promise and creating the springboard for an exhilarating future.
That is the view of Mark Hughes, the former Manchester United and Everton striker, who identified Calvert-Lewin’s potential when managing Stoke City at Goodison Park back in August 2017.
Calvert-Lewin has scored 19 times across the competitions in 2020/21 and could add to his five England caps this month following a summons for a trio of World Cup qualifiers.
Of the 23-year-old's 51 Everton goals, 27 have come in 52 appearances since Carlo Ancelotti was appointed manager 15 months ago.
“Dominic is progressing really well and has a good platform there now,” Hughes told evertonfc.com.
“He has always had physical attributes, he has a huge leap and his ability in the air is exceptional.
“He’s quick along the grass, as well, he moves intelligently, and his finishing is consistently improving, which feeds into confidence.
“There are a number of traits you need to succeed as a striker and he has quite a few of them.
“Everton have an outstanding manager, with a great reputation, who understands the big leagues and will help develop him.
“I am excited by what is ahead for Dominic.”
Calvert-Lewin’s express opening to this campaign – he netted nine times in six starts – led to a first senior England call and a goalscoring debut back in October.
The Everton number nine shirt Calvert-Lewin craved sat more comfortably on his back following a flurry of robust performances during Duncan Ferguson’s caretaker reign in late 2019.
His progress accelerated under Ancelotti after a nudge from the Italian boss, who wanted Calvert-Lewin occupying more threatening positions and firing off shots first time.
The instructions were manna for Calvert-Lewin, an August 2016 signing from Sheffield United, after beginning his Premier League career filling multiple roles.
When Hughes brought Stoke to Goodison on the opening day of 2017/18, Calvert-Lewin was employed at right wing-back – and supplied the cross for Wayne Rooney to head the game’s only goal.
“You could see back then that he was a young man who was able to get around the pitch,” said Hughes, who played 19 games in seven months with Everton after joining in March 2000.
“He had that youthful energy – that is one thing you want to see, as a given, when you introduce a young player.
“They have to show that enthusiasm and willingness to run and harry opposition when they get their chance.
“He certainly did that on that day.
“It was an even enough game but it was always going to pan out that Wayne would score – it was in the stars.
“But Dominic played really well and you sensed he was a young player who was going to have a career.
“He just needs to continue developing that knowhow – to understand how to work the spaces in the box – and he has the perfect manager, along with Duncan [Assistant Manager, Ferguson], to help him with that.”
Calvert-Lewin is preparing for the launch of England’s World Cup qualifying campaign, with games against San Marino, Albania and Poland before the end of this month.
He will return to Goodison primed for what is shaping into a mini-Premier League season: 10 matches to determine whether Everton will be playing European football next term.
“Everton look a very good team,” continued Hughes.
“The manager is one of the best and has attracted some top players to the Club.
“There is a lot of ambition and potential.
“I think everybody is quite excited by what is ahead for them.”