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Sam Allardyce Exclusive: ‘Impossible For Everton To Sell Calvert-Lewin’

Sam Allardyce Exclusive: ‘Impossible For Everton To Sell Calvert-Lewin’

Former Everton manager Sam Allardyce insists that it is “crucial” for Everton to keep hold of Dominic Calvert-Lewin this deadline day, due to the dearth of Premier League-quality strikers. The 24-year-old scored three goals in his first three Premier League appearances of the season, but was sidelined for an extended period due to injury. In the striker's absence, Everton slipped into the lower reaches of the table – and are now just four points above the relegation zone. The Toffees' precarious position leads Allardyce to believe that the club should do all they can to ward off interest in their star forward, at least until the summer.


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Everton Must Keep Calvert-Lewin

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “It’s impossible for Everton to sell Dominic [Calvert-Lewin] at this moment in time. 

“It’s crucial they keep him. By not being in the team, his value has increased by 50%, and that’s by not playing. 

“I think that if he keeps himself fit and carries on from where he left off last season – which was always in his locker when I was there – he was just a little bit too young at the time to start being the goalscorer he is now. 

“The rest of his game was all in place. When he had a few chances, he missed more than he scored. Now he scores more than he misses. For any club who wants a centre-forward, he’s your man.

“Anybody that could get him, they are going to improve their team massively. But not in this window. I think he’ll wait and see what the summer brings and see what Everton do. 

“If he can stay fit from now until the end of the season, a bigger club than Everton could come in for him.”

Shortage Of Strikers

Allardyce explained that the number of elite strikers in the game is dwindling, leading to an increase in false-nines – an issue he struggled with during his time as West Bromwich Albion boss.

The 67-year-old believes that centre-forward is the most difficult position to play, particularly as a winter arrival in England’s top flight.

“Let me tell you this, we can criticise these players as much as you want – and I'll tell you, the hardest time to come and play football in the Premier League from abroad is in January,” he said. 

“And the hardest position to succeed is up front. Without a doubt. But we were so short of goals and so short of an out and out striker at West Brom – we didn’t actually have one. [Callum] Robinson and [Karlan] Grant weren't really your front men, weren't really your number nines.

“There's a massive thing in the game about the false number nine, and that's because there aren’t enough strikers. So we play with a false number nine. 

“Why are we doing that? Well, because we haven't got a frontman up there that's good enough to play in the Premier League and score the goals that you need. 

“You try and find a different way and obviously lots of teams are beginning to trial that. It’s purely and simply because you haven't got enough frontmen and you've got a problem.

“Tottenham only have Harry Kane as an out and out frontman. West Ham have just one – Antonio, and he’s been converted from a winger.  

“You look across the teams in the Premier League, it's a rare thing now to find a frontman that's capable of playing in the top end of football in the Premier League. 

“Look at [Robert] Lewandowski. He’s well into his 30s and he’s knocking them in for fun. What are Bayern Munich going to do when they lose him? 

“Chelsea have gone for Romelu Lukaku, and he's had a problem or two with the managers, obviously.”

Character Of Player Important Consideration

Allardyce also stressed the importance of a new signing’s character as much as their ability.

“You've got to be able to manage these big boys and these big egos,” he added. “I think that that is something you have to make sure, as best you can, that that's not going to be too big a problem for you when you sign them. 

“That's why you need to meet them in person. Even though it might only be an hour before you sign them on, and particularly in the January window, because you've not got a lot of time. 

“You've got to sit down with them face-to-face and look them in the eye and say, ‘I know him as a player, but who is he as a person?’ That's very important. 

“You need to weigh up his character and assess whether he will be good in the dressing room. Will he fit in? Will the players be okay? 

“All these decisions lie with you when you're making the recommendation. Sometimes you turn around at that late stage and actually say no. 

“Obviously people wonder why then, but for the benefit of everybody at the club and yourself, and the player himself, you make that decision.

“The talent might be there, but the personality and what is needed might not be – his character might cause too many problems in the dressing room. 

“If you break the bond in the dressing room, you will have no chance of getting out of relegation.”

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