Does Everton star Calvert-Lewin deserve England opportunity?
With England's two leading strikers both on the sidelines, is it time Dominic Calvert-Lewin is offered the chance to prove his worth on the international stage?
Calvert-Lewin has been impressive for England at youth level and helped the Under-20s to World Cup glory in 2017, scoring the only goal in the final victory over Venezuela.
However, the 22-year-old, who was named the Three Lions’ Under-21 Player of the Year in 2018, is yet to make the step up to Gareth Southgate’s squad as the manager contemplates his attacking options for Euro 2020.
It looks unlikely the forward will be able to force his way into the reckoning for the major tournament but, with injuries to Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, there may now be an opportunity.
Since Carlo Ancelotti took charge of Everton on December 21, Calvert-Lewin has scored four goals in six games and that lethal run of form has helped the Toffees climb to 11th in the standings, five points adrift of fifth-placed Manchester United.
Under the former Napoli manager’s guidance, there is a sense the Sheffield-born star can move on to the next level and become a leading figure for both club and country.
Ancelotti has already backed Calvert-Lewin to transfer his domestic form onto the international stage, saying: “Of course he can play for England. He has to fight as England has fantastic strikers.
“But he has the quality and possibility to be a great striker in England and for England.”
The manager’s comments echo Everton captain Seamus Coleman who said his team-mate had “stepped up another level” after the draw with West Ham.
Certainly, there would be no harm in giving Calvert-Lewin the chance to impress when England are back in action at the end of March, taking on Italy and Denmark in friendlies as they continue to build towards the European Championships.
However, you have to wonder if the Everton forward has a realistic chance of making the squad for Euro 2020 which, as things stand, doesn’t look like it will happen.
Kane and Rashford are expected to both be back to full fitness in time for the major tournament, which takes two places straight away, while Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling also look to be certain picks.
There is then Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who is expected to be given the nod to lead the line in March, and Southampton’s Danny Ings, who is another being tipped to earn a call-up for the friendlies.
For Calvert-Lewin, a Euro 2020 chance may be out of his grasp but, if he continues to impress into the 2020/21 campaign, he could yet end up being a future star for the Three Lions.