When Dominic Calvert-Lewin steps onto the pitch at Bramall Lane for England’s U-21’s against Ukraine today for the squad’s Euro 2019 qualifier, the Everton forward is sure to feel some sense of nostalgia.
Calvert-Lewin’s rise to the Premier League all started with the Sheffield United Academy where the hard-working, imposing striker learned his trade. So one would assume the young #9 would love to revel in the glory days of his past, and receive the well-earned adulation he is sure to get from his hometown fans.
However, DCL has his eyes fixed squarely on the future, specifically a spot on England’s World Cup squad this summer, and any trips down memory lane are going to have to wait.
As a forward who led the Everton line through multiple managers and systems (no easy feat for a player adjusting to such a competitive and physical league), confidence is no issue.
He knows he’s ready.
“It’s my dream to play for England at senior level. I do believe I’m ready. I back myself. I believe in my ability. The more I play, the more goals I will score and will become more prolific. I do believe I can play for England at some point.”
As to what he brings to his club and U-21 team, and what hopes to bring to the senior squad, well, a little bit of everything.
“I like to think I’ve got a bit of everything in my game. I like to bring different things to the table.”
With four goals, five assists, and 18 chances created this Premier League season it is tough to argue with the young striker’s self-assessment. He was also one of the Young Lions’ best players last summer as England went on to win the U-20 World Cup for the first time.
Not even the most cynical Everton fan could argue against the productiveness of DCL at the forward position, including drawing a number of key penalties.
For now though, Calvert-Lewin knows any hopes of being on the plane to Russia this summer depend upon his continued contributions at the U-21 and club levels.
“After this international break, I will go back to my club and hopefully score a few goals, and who knows what could happen regarding the World Cup?”
Who knows indeed.