Stan Collymore says Dominic Calvert-Lewin has “something special” and is set for a “long and successful” career with Everton and England.
Calvert-Lewin has enjoyed a stunning rise to prominence following his move to Goodison Park from Sheffield United one year ago.
The 20-year-old was promoted into Ronald Koeman’s first-team within months of joining and started five Premier League matches last term.
And after a heady summer in which he struck the goal that won the World Cup for England’s Under-20 team in Korea, Calvert-Lewin has returned to Goodison Park to become a pivotal figure under Koeman this term.
The youngster continued his high-achieving exploits in this current international break, scoring on his England Under-21 debut in Holland and then delivering a terrific cameo from the bench as Aidy Boothroyd’s side beat Latvia on Tuesday night.
Collymore has closely monitored the progress of Calvert-Lewin and his fellow band of homegrown Everton stars.
And the former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool striker is enormously impressed by both Calvert-Lewin’s talent and fearless outlook on his profession.
“There is undoubtedly something special about the fact he clearly wants to be in the first team,” Collymore told evertonfc.com.
“It is not just about wanting to see young players come through, which we all like at our clubs. I want young players who are looking at the gaffer and saying, ‘get me on, get me on’ – and he seems that type of character.
“I was in the States recently talking to Patrick Vieira (currently managing New York City and formerly in charge of Manchester City’s Academy), about Under-23s playing against Under-23s, in an Under-23s league – having the comfort blanket of being at a big club.
“When young players come out and say, ‘give me the opportunity’ – that is what I want to hear.
“In that respect, Dominic reminds me of Robbie Fowler – and Michael Owen, who also made his debut early.”
Everton manager Koeman has demonstrated a real keenness to give opportunities to the Club's younger players.
Academy graduate Tom Davies had his breakthrough campaign on the Dutchman's watch last season, while Koeman has also invested enormous trust in youngsters Mason Holgate and Ademola Lookman at various junctures of his reign.
Lookman, Davies and Jonjoe Kenny all joined Calvert-Lewin on England Under-21 duty this week.
And Collymore insists Everton are fast becoming one of the most attractive destinations for the country’s brightest young prospects.
“Everton is definitely a place you would want to go as a young player now,” said Collymore, who admits to having a "soft spot" for the Blues, despite his two years playing across Stanley Park.
“I think there are a lot of similarities between Everton and Spurs. Both clubs buy diligently, but they do not burst open the transfer kitty when they can give a young player an opportunity.
“And an opportunity means six to 10 games, it doesn’t mean 45 minutes, 10 times a season. It means letting them play.
“I think more managers are starting to realise, with the huge money in the Premier League – and yes, it is great to have that money in the bank – that it is great to be able to develop a club with those resources that come in, along with bringing through your own.
“Ronald Koeman has spoken about that and bought young players, so why not promote them from within as well?”
Calvert-Lewin took on Everton’s lone striking role in the recent draw at Manchester City and excelled in the position, running ragged City’s expensively assembled defensive trio of Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones.
Collymore is nevertheless warning it won’t all be plain sailing from here on in for the Yorkshireman.
But, with careful nurturing, he insists Calvert-Lewin is destined to operate at the apex of the game for years to come.
“He will need a bit of patience, because most of the youngsters I have ever seen, besides the truly exceptional ones, will have peaks and troughs – good games and bad games,” said Collymore.
“I think the fact Dominic has said, ‘I want to be involved, give me an opportunity’, gives you an insight into the character of a player who will have a long and successful career for his club and country.”
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