Dominic Calvert-Lewin says his understanding with Oumar Niasse can provide Everton’s forward line with a “different dynamic” – but insists playing up front alone “does not faze me”.
Calvert-Lewin came off the bench to head home the Toffees’ equaliser against Watford seven days ago, when Niasse led the line and scored the goal that launched Everton’s recovery from two down.
The duo instantly hit it off playing for the Under-23s last season. They lined up together in four matches, which yielded eight goals between the English-Senegalese pair – and 14 for the young Blues team.
Calvert-Lewin has excelled as a lone striker this term but also impressed in a variety of other roles.
Niasse made a goalscoring return to the team in the Carabao Cup victory over Sunderland back in September – on a night when Calvert-Lewin bagged a double.
The pair both started last month’s Premier League encounter with Burnley and have featured under David Unsworth against Leicester and then, to telling effect, Watford.
“The more you play with someone, the better you get to know them and their game,” Calvert-Lewin told evertonfc.com.
“I played with Oumar in the Under-23s last season, so we learned how each other plays.
“As a team, it gives you a different dynamic when you have two strikers. It can sometimes cause opponents more problems.
“It is good to have a hand up there sometimes. You can share the workload but I am happy to play up there by myself or with a partner.
“It does not faze me as long as I am playing.”
Calvert-Lewin had spoken prior to the clash with Watford of his desire to add more goals to his game – particularly in the Premier League.
His previous four strikes this term had all come in cup competitions – three in the League Cup to add to his effort in the Europa League qualifying tie with MFK Ruzomberok.
The 20-year-old opened his league account with a back-post header from a corner that was earned as a result of his purposeful, ambitious play on Everton's left flank.
It was the second Premier League goal of his career – he netted in the Goodison victory over Hull City last season – but, more importantly for the England Under-21 international, contributed to a 3-2 win which propelled his team out of the bottom three in advance of the current international break.
“It was a good time to win,” said Calvert-Lewin. “We have time, now, to reflect on it and think about how we can improve our performances.
“There is quality in the team and we are just looking to gel together and strike the right balance. Hopefully, this win can improve our future performances.
“I have put in some decent performances this season but been lacking goals.
“That is the most important thing and it is nice for me to get off the mark in the Premier League. To put in the performance I did to help the team win the game, in the situation we were in, was an even better feeling.
“Sometimes, you never know how your goal is going to come. I just managed to judge the flight of the ball at the back stick and nod it in. It does not really matter how it comes, as long as it hits the back of the net.”
Both Niasse and Calvert-Lewin are doing well at present, and both give us options in front of Rooney, allowing him to play an intelligent deeper role. I’d like to C-L start more games, with Niasse coming off the bench if the strike force needs strengthening, but I’m happy either way at present.