Everton manager Sean Dyche is determined to find a solution to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s recurring injury issues.
Calvert-Lewin played in Dyche’s first game in charge, but was substituted after just an hour due to concerns over his fitness.
Calvert-Lewin was unable to play in Everton’s recent Merseyside derby against Liverpool, and he is also expected to miss the upcoming match against Leeds United.
Dyche has emphasized his commitment to working with Calvert-Lewin and his staff to address the player’s ongoing injury problems.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the Leeds clash [via Liverpool Echo, 16 February], he said: “I’m speaking to Dominic, speaking to the medics, the sports science team, getting the stats and facts, training programmes, distance covered, high speed running, how many kilometres in a week, what’s his diet like, what’s his lifestyle like, what car does he drive, what mattress does he use, how many hours does he sleep at night.
Dyche added: “I hope to trust all my staff including myself, I make the final decision. I hope to trust all the stats and facts plus the feedback and his knowledge because as you get older you learn about your body as well.
“It’s hard to explain but when you’re a player you know the difference when something is not right or something when you go ‘no I can shake that.’ It takes a number of years to learn about your own body, younger players don’t often have it but older players do and Dominic is in that middle bracket of course, you’re usually 25ish plus when you learn that.
“There’s also scientific feedback, medic feedback, my feedback and his feedback, everything goes in the pot. You can’t just leave it forever and have a one-month injury that takes three months just to be sure but there has to be a balance where you go ‘where are we at when you are really, really fit and clear and that’s what we’re searching for.”
Toffees fans are understandably concerned about Calvert-Lewin’s persistent fitness issues and wonder what his career might have been like had he remained healthy.
The striker is approaching the prime of his career at 26, and it would be unfortunate if he missed out on playing consistently at the highest level, potentially even at a top club in the future, due to ongoing injuries.
When Calvert-Lewin is fit, he is a gifted player who demonstrated his abilities in Dyche’s first game in charge against Arsenal before being substituted.
As the new manager, Dyche faces many challenges at Goodison Park this season, including the task of helping the England international regain his fitness and play consistently at the highest level, in addition to securing Everton’s future in the Premier League.