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Everton 2022-23 Season Review: Strikers Report Cards

Assessing the seasons for strikers Calvert-Lewin, Maupay, and Simms

Manchester United v Everton - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Old Trafford Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

We continue our review of the past Everton season with a look at a position group that fell flat on their faces this season, the strikers.

Last year at about this time, Everton was in a very similar place as they find themselves in today. It was the prior season that saw their last bit of good form - when the team had fought for a top-six position for most of the 2020-21 season - and Carlo Ancelotti’s first replacement would do just as poorly last year as his second replacement would do to start this 2022-23 campaign off.

But, to be fair, Frank Lampard did lead Everton to enough points to remain in the Premier League last season. This season, however, he seemed to fail wherever he found himself coaching. Sean Dyche came in during the January window and, despite a lack of financial support and injuries across the side, was able to keep this side in the top tier of English football once again.

But he did it with absolutely dreadful forward play. While Dominic Calvert-Lewin has continued to suffer through injury after injury - and is reportedly trying some German expertise this summer to do something innovative about it - Frenchman Neal Maupay, formerly of Brighton, was an absolute flop as a goalscorer for this side. Youngster Ellis Simms could still come good; he simply needs more time and patience from a boss that can instill belief in him - his stats in other leagues demonstrate there’s ability waiting in the wings.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Appearances - 18, Goals - 2, Assists - 1, Yellow Cards - 3, Red Cards - 0, PL xG+xA/90 - .25

This season was another injury-riddled one for Everton’s current top number nine, and without a player of Richarlison’s timely ability and calibre as a Blue to cover for him during abscesses, his loss seemed to be felt even more acutely across this season. As noted by his statistics which are - while not great - actually not too far off from last season’s, and demonstrate how important it is to be able to get on the pitch in the first place.

Between injuries and a less efficient team around him, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s numbers suffered. He simply has to get healthy as a player, and if he can, the world remains his oyster at only 26.

The Sheffield-born center-forward has every chance to do great things once again, and while he must address his injuries, he will also have to get some better service and production around him.

DCL is getting a lower mark than last season, as he played one fewer match, had worse statistics, and - as is sometimes said - the best ability is availability.

Grade: C

Leicester City v Everton FC - Premier League
This became a pretty rare sight this season
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Neal Maupay

Appearances - 29, Goals - 1, Assists - 1, Yellow Cards - 4, Red Cards - 0, PL xG+xA/90 - .19

Some were bullish on the pesky Frenchman when he was brought up from the southern shore to Merseyside, but Neal Maupay simply didn’t pay off for the Toffees this season. He is, however, essentially the same age as DCL, so with the right boss or on the right team, there is still a lot of potential for him to do the sort of things he was once known to do down at Brighton & Hove Albion. His xG/90 remained about the same as in his previous stops, but somehow turned his 5.43 xG all season into just the one league goal.

He was a pest when he was there, and would get the other sides mad at him before scoring goals against them. So far with Everton, he has only managed the former, even as the Toffees desperately could’ve used the latter. He’s smaller in frame than Sean Dyche usually likes, but if he can find his confidence again he could offer a real different solution to unlocking defenses than the taller, more traditional center-forwards often do.

Otherwise, he’ll be offloaded. He gets a lower grade than DCL in part because he was not injured for most the season, and yet still managed to play at perhaps his lowest level since arriving in England. If he can play better next season, alongside the new players and better organization inspired by the boss, the side could enjoy a boost as if Maupay were a new player to the side; until then, we wait.

Grade: D-

Everton FC v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Ellis Simms

Appearances - 11, Goals - 1, Assists - 0, Yellow Cards - 0, Red Cards - 0, PL xG+xA/90 - .36

The youngster was recalled from his most recent Championship stint at Sunderland in the dying hours of December and featured 11 times during that stretch, with his only goal coming to tie the match versus Chelsea - a remarkably important point in the end.

He looked good at times, and a bit too nervy at others. He is still young at just 22 but needs - like Maupay - a boss who’s going to believe in him and let him gain some time out on the pitch. Sean Dyche is the man for both jobs, and while the side will look to get some help up top this summer, expect the boss to give players like Simms and Maupay opportunities to get in his good graces; physicality will be the calling card, however.

Grade: C

Chelsea FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images


Sean Dyche was able to take a team with worse forward production than during the 2021-22 season and still find a way to Premier League security for another season. It is no small feat and deserves praise. Four league goals from strikers played a big part in the Toffees being the 19th highest scoring team in the league last season with a meagre 34 in total.

As for the strikers, however, DCL needs to regain his fitness, Maupay needs to regain his form, and Simms needs to be allowed to discover his confidence and place in this higher, more physical level of football.

Right now, with none of those things certain to occur, and limited cash available for transfers unless other pieces are moved, or cut-rate bargains can be procured, one might look towards a future with a healthier, more organized and competent group up top going into the 2023-24 season.

On the other hand, the Toffees could strike gold on a player like Viktor Gyökeres of Coventry City, and find that most of those three names are surplus. If Dwight McNeil can play as he did across the final stretch of matches this past season, a healthy DCL will have a much better campaign ahead of him. An addition like Gyökeres could only help, and it might address a real void in this side over the past two years in particular, and even further if we’re being fair.