Reports claim Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s camp are at a loss as to why the Everton striker has been marginalised while with the England squad at Euro 2020.
The 24-year-old was selected for Gareth Southgate’s 26-man party after bagging 21 goals in all competitions last season. He was not expected to start, with Harry Kane England’s undisputed number one and Marcus Rashford as back-up. But it was thought that the Sheffield-born frontman might play some part in the campaign.
To date, he has totalled just a solitary minute of action in the opening 1-0 victory over Croatia. He was an unused substitute against Scotland and Czech Republic.
But the former Sheffield United hitman was not even included in the 12 substitutes selected for possible use against Germany on Tuesday. According to The Athletic, those close to Calvert-Lewin have been ‘baffled’ as to why he has not featured.
Kane has struggled for form during the tournament and found the net for the first time in the 2-0 last-16 victory over Germany. But last week Calvert-Lewin defended the Spurs man and backed him to come good.
“You know he’s got undeniable quality and I think he leads the line (well); he’s the captain, so he’s probably the first person people look at to kind of criticise,” he told reporters.
“But, for me, he’s done it consistently for a few seasons now. So I’ve got no doubt that he’ll perform on the big stage.”
Kane looked to be struggling against Germany but a goal towards the end of the game will certainly have lifted his spirits.
It also decreases the chances of Calvert-Lewin getting an opportunity in the Three Lions’ next encounter.
Calvert-Lewin doing all he can to give Southgate a nudge
The talented frontman enjoyed his best season in an Everton shirt last term, with 16 Premier League goals. And he was given a start by Southgate in a European Championship warm-up match with Romania.
He has four goals from 10 England appearances and bagged a brace against San Marino in March this year. The former Northampton Town loan man has even been linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent times.
Ex-Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti is now in the Bernabeu hotseat. And it was reported that he wanted the England man with him in Spain.
It is not known if there is any truth in the rumour or the fact that James Rodriguez is also being targeted. Nothing will happen until after Euro 2020, where Calvert-Lewis was hoping to impress.
It has not happened but he remains a top-class striker and one that will surely only get better.