Frank Lampard believes a re-fit Dominic Calvert-Lewin will help Everton address the lack of goals and creativity that have hampered his team this season.
The 25-year-old England international made his first start of the campaign at Newcastle on Wednesday as Everton suffered a third consecutive Premier League defeat. Lampard’s side failed to hit the target at St James’ Park or in last weekend’s defeat to Tottenham and the manager admits they must improve in the final third after conceding eight goals in 11 league games.
The problem runs deep at the club, who sold last season’s top scorer Richarlison. Everton have scored 70 goals in 72 league games since beating Sheffield United 1-0 on Boxing Day 2020 to finish second under Carlo Ancelotti.
The Everton manager said: “In terms of our recruitment, you saw that I felt a big need to improve our stability in defense and in midfield. Now we have better competition, more stability in the team and we are talking without Dominic in the equation because we didn’t have him. Now we have the next series of games with Dominic and Neil [Maupay] and you can see a change in it.
“I don’t expect 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 soccer player is scoring goals; that’s why if you want to buy one of them to assist or score goals, you’d be better off paying between £60m and £80m. We don’t have to think about it that way. We have to think about what we have and the level of players, which I think is a high level, but we can definitely score more goals.”
Lampard insists the responsibility for improving Everton’s threat lies with the whole team, not just Calvert-Lewin, whose recovery from a knee injury is being closely monitored. 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 McNeill once in 12 appearances.
“Our wingers are relatively young,” he said. “None of them have scored as many goals as I think they should and they can contribute more from that side. We work on it a lot and talk about it a lot, and the reality is we need to do it more.”