BBC pundit Chris Sutton has hailed Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s aerial ability.
Calvert-Lewin started England’s 1-0 win over Romania yesterday, their last match before Euro 2020 kicks off on Sunday.
Sutton wrote in the Daily Mail that Calvert-Lewin can beat anyone in the air and compared him with Les Ferdinand.
“Not everyone agrees that Dominic Calvert-Lewin deserved his call-up,” wrote Sutton. “Some thought Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins ought to have been included in the 26-man squad, or maybe Patrick Bamford of Leeds.
“But Calvert-Lewin is the greatest leaper since ‘Sir’ Les Ferdinand. The Everton striker can beat anyone in the air.
“Before a thigh injury saw him drop out, Gareth Southgate called up Trent Alexander-Arnold who, despite an indifferent season at Liverpool, finished as the player with the most crosses in the Premier League in 2020-21.
“You imagine Southgate thought that Merseyside combination could have come in handy. Alexander-Arnold’s injury was unfortunate, but there remain good crossers, such as Kieran Trippier or Luke Shaw.”
Calvert-Lewin gives England a new dimension
Calvert-Lewin is unlikely to come on for Harry Kane if England are chasing a game.
But he could well be introduced alongside him.
That would allow Kane to drop a bit deeper and give England the chance to get crosses into the box.
Calvert-Lewin can give anyone a battle in the air, but also has the pace to run the channels.
That’s why he beat the likes of Watkins and Bamford to get into the squad.
He should have scored yesterday but Jordan Henderson pulled rank and took the penalty off him – before going on to miss.
That’s immensely frustrating for Gareth Southgate and Calvert-Lewin – and something which shouldn’t be happening at all, in a friendly or otherwise.