Calvert-Lewin's Future Plan & 'Bella Ciao' Verdict

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has set his sights on a return to international football with England following an impressive end to the 2023/24 season.

The Everton striker has played a crucial role in securing the Blues' top-flight status for a 71st consecutive campaign following an unprecedented term that saw Sean Dyche's side thumped with not just one but two separate points deductions. 

Within the trials and tribulations of that complicated year, Calvert-Lewin has had his own rollercoaster story, complete with a promising start, frustrating middle, and ending with a flourish in the form of four goals in the previous five games heading into Saturday’s game against boyhood club Sheffield United, and a match-winning assist against the Blades to seal a fifth consecutive victory on home soil for the Blues.

“I reflect on this season in a much better way than I perhaps would have six to eight weeks ago when I was in the back end of a difficult spell,” the 27-year-old tells “I needed to get a goal and I was plugging away, working hard and then when I got my goal, I knew once I got one that would be it then. That’s how it goes in football being a centre-forward. 

“It’s been a different kind of battle for myself. The previous two seasons were plagued with injuries and were just all about being fit - getting fit, staying fit and getting to play as many games as possible, whereas this season, at the start of the season it was a case of that - just wanting to be out there, playing and almost do myself justice, in a way, because I felt like I hadn’t been able to do that for a long time.

“I started the season well then went on a bit of a barren run which was frustrating, of course, because anyone who knows me knows I love scoring goals. That’s my job and that’s what people expect of me.

“I’m sat here now with two games left, four goals in the past five games but still hungry for more goals, to be honest. I’m looking to make it a few more and really get back and continue to show the level I believe I’m capable of playing at week-in, week-out.

“I want to get back to where I belong in the England team. It’s been a slow build-up this season, I feel like I’ve got there eventually and now I just want to continue this form.”

Indirectly, Calvert-Lewin has also been responsible for the ear worm that nobody can seem to escape.

Bella Ciao was a song initially dedicated to the partisans of Italy who fought the invading forces of Nazi Germany and the fascist collaborationists of the Italian Social Republic between 1943 and 1945. To this day, every year on 25 April, Italians gather round heavily-laden tables and barbecues to chant the famous Bella Ciao lyrics to celebrate Liberation Day. 

More familiarly, in recent weeks, a Dominic Calvert-Lewin-inspired adaptation of the song has become Everton’s increasingly-heard anthem – in stadiums and even in the corridors at Finch Farm – of the Blues’ surge to safety.

It began when Argentinian commentator ‘Bambino’ Pons, known for his exuberant celebrations of goals, called Calvert-Lewin’s equalising penalty at Newcastle United at the beginning of April and thus the new version of the song was born.

“I don’t think I was off the pitch before I’d been sent it,” smiles Calvert-Lewin. “I got back to the changing room [at Newcastle], the manager did his talk afterwards and we’d settled down – I checked my phone and my mate Niall from Sheffield had sent it to me. I listened to it and I was cracking up straight away. To be fair, I thought it had a ring to it and thought, ‘If the Toffees don’t start singing this then it’s criminal!’… The only one bugbear I’ve got is that for the goals I have scored, I’ve never really had a song, have I?! I’ve got the one (to the tune of UB40’s Kingston Town) that pops up at away games but I’d love to have one at home and maybe that can be it.”

And it’s not just restricted to stadiums up and down the country where it follows Everton’s talisman.

He continues: “Shay [Seamus Coleman] walks around singing it and whenever he sees me now it’s always, ‘Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao, Ciao, Ciao!’… I get it because it does stick in your head. Now you’ve mentioned it I’ll go home singing it!

“Someone said to me after the Luton game about the fans singing it properly for the first time… somehow, I didn’t - I think I was too in the zone but I’ve seen it since and it’s class. I’ve said it before but scoring a goal like that in front of our away end and seeing the reaction is the best feeling in the world.”