December 7, 2021

Calvert-Lewin likened to Ronaldo as Richarlison hails Everton’s Golden Boot-leading striker

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The Toffees frontman, who is in contention to make his senior bow for England, is considered to be a “nightmare” for opponents to play against

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has started the 2020-21 season in stunning form for Everton, with nine goals already recorded, and his skill set has been likened to that of Cristiano Ronaldo by Toffees team-mate Richarlison.

Those at Goodison Park have always had high hopes for a frontman they snapped up from Sheffield United in 2016.

Calvert-Lewin was, however, far from being prolific until finding his shooting boots in 2019-20.

A 15-goal haul last term helped to build confidence in the 23-year-old and he has kicked on into the current campaign – leading a Premier League Golden Boot race and earning senior international recognition with England along the way.

Richarlison is not surprised by the attention Calvert-Lewin is now attracting, with his qualities marking him out as a “nightmare” to play against.

“Dominic’s development has been really impressive,” Richarlison told FIFA’s official website.

“He’s transformed into a complete striker. I remember when I got here he was nothing like the player he is today.

“It’s down to the work he’s put in. He’s in the gym every day, he’s always working on his finishing. And playing under [Carlo] Ancelotti he’ll keep getting better and better.

“He’s had a superb start to the season and without doubt deserved his England call-up. He must be a nightmare to play against and he has an incredible leap on him like Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Calvert-Lewin is far from being the only star turn at Everton to have burst out of the blocks this season, with Ancelotti’s side topping the Premier League table thanks a faultless run through four games.

Summer signing James Rodriguez has proved to be a shrewd addition to their ranks, with the Colombian playmaker another of those Richarlison admires.

The Brazilian forward said of a fellow South American: “He’s a very special talent.

“He’s the No.10 for his national team, he’s got an outstanding pedigree – Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Porto. He’d walk into any team in the Premier League.

“I watch a lot of Premier League games – what team wouldn’t want James Rodriguez? He’s made a brilliant start at Everton, and I really hope it continues so we can achieve our targets this season.”

Those sights are being set a little higher after starting so well, with Richarlison hoping that long-awaited silverware can be delivered to the blue half of Merseyside.

He said of Everton’s ambition: “We want to win a cup. The supporters here are really passionate and they have been waiting for this for too many years.

“I think now that we have Ancelotti, and with the signings he’s made, we can win a cup and fight for a Champions League place.

“Obviously it’s difficult in England because you have the [big] six, but we’re a different team from last season. We had a lot of injuries then and we’ve signed quality players in the positions we needed.

“We’ve made a really exciting start to the season and Ancelotti is keeping us focused and motivating us. I really believe we can qualify for the Champions League.”