Martin Keown has come out in defence of Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was named in the starting XI by Sean Dyche yesterday when Everton took on Aston Villa. However, the striker’s return to the side following his return to fitness was not to last long.

With just over half an hour played, Calvert-Lewin was forced off the pitch with a facial injury and could be set for another injury lay-off.

Dyche, who saw his goal-shy Everton side put to the sword by Aston Villa, will be desperately hoping that Calvert-Lewin isn’t sidelined for long. Everton fans, though, having seen Calvert-Lewin struggle with his fitness consistently over the last few years, will be expecting the worst.

Fully fit and at his best, the 26-year-old could have a transformative effect on this Everton team. His injury record makes him impossible to rely upon though, and Dyche must find a quality striker in the transfer market this summer.

The one positive piece of news related to Calvert-Lewin’s withdrawal at Villa Park is that it wasn’t a muscular injury or reoccurrence of any previous issue he has struggled with. His recovery ought to be swift and seamless.

Aston Villa v Everton FC - Premier League
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Keown calls on Everton to believe in Calvert-Lewin

BBC Sport pundit and former Everton defender Martin Keown believes that Everton fans should show support for Calvert-Lewin and keep faith in his ability to come good for the Toffees this season.

After the defeat against Aston Villa, Keown said, “he is criticised by Everton fans because of his injury record but I think he is an excellent player who was immensely unlucky to get hurt.”

“Calvert-Lewis was very brave, almost too brave really, to attack the ball in the box the way he did and I think anyone who questions him should remember that – and the fact he didn’t want to come off afterwards.”

Everton paid just £1.5 million to sign Calvert-Lewin from Sheffield United in 2016. Since then, the 11-cap England man has given the Goodison Park faithful some great moments. They have to believe that he can be a hero for them again.

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