Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin believes he is reaping the rewards of lessons learned and is relishing the prospect of bringing his scintillating form to the international scene.
The 23-year-old, the leading scorer in Europe’s top five leagues after his ninth goal of the season in the 4-2 win over Brighton, is set for his full England debut over the next 10 days after being called into Gareth Southgate’s squad for the first time.
Calvert-Lewin would have been in contention for a possible Euro 2020 berth pre-Covid lockdown after eight goals in 10 league matches following Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment in December.
He was affected in more ways than one as after the restart he failed to find the target once in Everton’s remaining 10 games.
However, he has made up for lost time by becoming the first Toffees player to score in the opening four Premier League fixtures, as the club posted their best start to a campaign (seven successive wins in total) since 1894-95, and is relishing his chance at international level.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to going away with England,” he told everton.tv.
“It’s something I’ve worked very hard for and dreamed about for a long time.
“It’s a very proud moment for me and I’m looking to go in and make my mark.
“I’ve got self-belief. I’ve always believed I could get here – I’ve never stopped working, listening and learning.
“It’s about age and maturity and learning from my past experiences, and now I’m reaping the rewards.”
Calvert-Lewin has been the biggest beneficiary of the tactical guidance of Carlo Ancelotti, while the arrival of playmaker James Rodriguez – who scored twice and assisted another goal against Brighton – in particular, is presenting better goalscoring chances.
The addition of midfielders Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure has helped contribute to maximum points from four matches and brought a confidence not seen at Goodison Park for several years.
“There’s been a mentality shift and a momentum shift around the place and that has been a big catalyst, as well bringing in the new players and the quality they’ve got,” added the Everton forward.
“What they’ve added to the team has been crucial. We have gelled really well and the system we play suits us.
“We are feeling confident, creating chances and scoring goals.
“James is a top player. You can see when he gets on the ball, the quality he has got.
“He draws people in and opens space up for other players on the pitch. As a centre-forward, he creates chances and that’s all you can hope for.”
Calvert-Lewin opened the scoring with a towering header and Yerry Mina nodded home a Rodriguez free-kick in first-half stoppage time after Jordan Pickford’s error in dropping the ball had allowed Neal Maupay to equalise.
Rodriguez ghosted in at the far post for his two goals, rendering Yves Bissouma’s added-time volley irrelevant.
“We are developing a new style and you can see we’re on the right track,” he told brightonandhovealbion.com.
“Everyone is working hard and understands what the manager wants from us.
“We have come up against some top teams recently and you can see we’re going through a process, there’s no shame in losing against these top sides but we have to take lessons from the last few weeks.
“We’re going in the right direction and if we all keep together – we’ll be fine.”