Rafa Benitez says a core group of leaders is forming at Everton – and one of those showing the way, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, owns the talent and attitude to increase his goalscoring return.
Manager Benitez confirmed Seamus Coleman would retain the captaincy following last weekend's victory over Southampton.
But the Spaniard pointed to an English quartet and Brazilian midfielder Allan as additional sources of inspiration.
Benitez waited until deep into pre-season to work with Calvert-Lewin following the player's involvement in the summer European Championship.
But he has seen enough to view the 24-year-old, who is poised to lead the line at Leeds United on Saturday, as one of the figureheads in his squad.
“The leader is not someone you point and choose, he is someone the players realise they can follow because he sends the right messages,” Benitez told evertontv.
“As a manager, you have ideas [who can lead] – but you have to see the behaviour of the players in every training session.
“It is not what you think, it is the rest of the group. If they think they [particular individuals] can be leaders, then you will point at them.
“It is not for me to choose one.
"Seamus was an obvious one because everybody respects him.
“But it is to be sure that you find the right one – not that you are looking for the right one.
“I think Keano [Michael Keane] is someone who has experience.
“[Jordan] Pickford, he is the keeper but is always trying to help.
“I was impressed and happy with Dominic.
“Allan is someone very vocal.
“Delphy [Fabian Delph] was not involved in the [Southampton] game but is still quite vocal
“We have three or four players who can be there [senior positions] and be important parts of the team.”
Calvert-Lewin scored his Premier League goals last season at a rate of one in every two starts, to finish with a total of 16, adding five in cup competitions.
The former Sheffield United player has 11 England caps following a debut in October last year.
He overcame a toe problem to start and score against Southampton – and is making a strong early impression on his new boss.
“He has the attributes to score a lot of goals,” said Benitez.
“He scored 16 last year and I think he can score more… because he is more mature and the way we want to play will benefit him.
“He has a problem with his toe but wants to train, then we will be sure when he is fully fit, he can do what we want.
“He will have chances and score goals.
“It is difficult to say [extent of Calvert-Lewin’s potential].
“I need to spend more time talking with him and training with him on the pitch, to be sure he understands the little things we can improve.
“We have been talking about a couple of small things that I think he will be keen on doing on the pitch.
“Simple things, attack the near post, the body position when he starts running or moving.
“There are too many details to talk about all these things.
“But it is to be sure he is keen to learn and he is happy.
“I think he will improve because he is someone who likes to work on the pitch.
“The main thing for me will be to ensure we provide him with the right passes and crosses, then he will score.”
Calvert-Lewin’s fellow forward Richarlison confounded expectations to play a crucial role against Southampton following an extraordinarily busy summer of international football.
And Benitez – who is waiting on news of a number of players before finalising his squad for Saturday – is optimistic the Brazilian will be full of running and invention at Leeds, where Everton will be backed by a sold-out away following.
“Richarlison is someone you don’t need to manage too much,” said Benitez.
“He wants to play and train and has the experience to manage himself.
“It [our job] is just to give him some confidence for the games.
“Later on, we have an international break, and we will see how we can manage him at that time.
“It is massive for the players to feel they are supported by our fans.
“When you play at home in the first game of the season, everybody has an extra motivation.
“So now we will see.
“The away fans are great because they go just to support the team and be sure they can give something extra for the players.
“Hopefully, they will be happy on the way home, that will mean we have done well.
“Every game, the fans can help the players to play a little bit better."