Dominic Calvert-Lewin is making great strides, says Everton boss Ronald Koeman

By dsguser
22 September 2017

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has no doubt forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin is taking "big steps" at the moment.

Having been brought into the starting XI for Wednesday's Carabao Cup clash with Sunderland, the 20-year-old shone brightly in a 3-0 victory for the Toffees, scoring twice as well as hitting a post.

Calvert-Lewin, who has four Everton goals in total, made headlines over the summer as he notched the winner for England in the Under-20s World Cup final.

And this week he was nominated, alongside the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, for the 2017 Golden Boy award, given to the player aged under 21 deemed the most impressive in Europe during the calendar year.

Koeman feels the man signed in August 2016 from Sheffield United needs to improve "in most aspects" but rates him as "really a big talent".

Asked ahead of Saturday's Premier League home clash with Bournemouth how good he felt Calvert-Lewin could be, the Dutchman said: "That's all about the future.

"I think he's making big steps at the moment, and nobody knows where it will end.

"In most aspects of football I think he needs to improve - in holding the ball, in his movements. He can be more clinical.

"But if you are looking at other strikers of his age, he is really a big talent.

"He's strong, he's fast, and he showed (against Sunderland) he can score goals.

"I think the boy is really disciplined, he's hard-working and he likes to improve. He's listening, and if you ask something (of him), with all his commitment he tries to show that.

"He can play in different positions - he was playing as a nine, but he can also play as an 11, a seven, with two strikers. There's a lot of possibilities with Dominic in the team."

Calvert-Lewin will hope to retain his starting place against Bournemouth after being one of eight players brought in for the Sunderland match, which saw Everton halt a four-game losing streak during which they had conceded 12 goals and scored none.

Also contributing to the morale-boost on Wednesday was Oumar Niasse, who came off the bench to make his first Toffees appearance since May 2016 and marked it with a fine finish.

Koeman said of the previously-frozen out Senegal forward: "Of course he's in my mind for the weekend - but I have 29 players.

"There are some injuries, but still, some players will not be selected. Every weekend I have tough decisions.

"His attitude has been positive. If his attitude wasn't okay, he wouldn't have been on the bench on Wednesday."

Koeman has James McCarthy (knee), Ross Barkley (hamstring), Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori (both knee) and Seamus Coleman (broken leg) unavailable.

And giving updates on McCarthy, Bolasie and Coleman, the manager said: "James is struggling with his fitness but I expect him back in training next week.

"Yannick and Seamus are both working hard, going in the right direction, but it's long-term injuries. Normally, we expect them back in full training in November."

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