Frank Lampard believes a fit-again Dominic Calvert-Lewin will help Everton address the lack of goals and creativity that has hindered his team this season.
The England international, 25, made his first start of the campaign at Newcastle on Wednesday, when Everton suffered a third successive Premier League defeat. Lampard’s team did not have a shot on target at St James’ Park, or in last weekend’s defeat at Tottenham, and the manager admits they must improve in the final third after scoring eight goals in 11 league games.
The problem runs deep at a club that sold last season’s leading goalscorer, Richarlison. Everton have scored 70 goals in 72 league games since beating Sheffield United 1-0 on Boxing Day 2020 to go second under Carlo Ancelotti.
The Everton manager said: “You saw in terms of our recruitment that I felt the biggest necessity to improve our stability was defensively and through midfield. Now we have better competition, more stability in the feel of the team, and we are talking without Dominic really being in the equation because we haven’t had him. Now we have the next run of games with Dominic and Neal [Maupay] and you may see a change to that.
“I’m not expecting us to be as prolific as Manchester City but at the same time we need to work to get better. The hardest part of being a professional footballer is to score goals; that is why when you want to buy one of them to assist or score goals you better pay £60m to £80m. We don’t have to think of it that way. We have to think of what we have got here and the level of players here, which is a high level of player in my opinion, but we can definitely get more goals.”
Lampard insists responsibility for improving Everton’s threat lies throughout the team and not only with Calvert-Lewin, whose recovery from a knee injury is being carefully managed. He wants more from Everton’s wingers, with Anthony Gordon scoring twice in 10 appearances this season, Demarai Gray twice in 12 appearances and Dwight McNeil once in 12 outings.
“Our wingers are relatively young,” he said. “None of them have scored as many goals as I think they should do and they can contribute more on that side. We work on that a lot and talk about it a lot and the reality is that we need to do that more.”