Sean Dyche must start 26-year-old Demarai Gray upfront for this weekend’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, if Dominic Calvert-Lewin is unavailable.
The Everton boss did not confirm whether or not Calvert-Lewin would be fit enough to play during his press conference on Thursday, though this could merely be a tactic to keep the opposition in the dark.
As reported via Everton’s official YouTube channel, when asked if Calvert-Lewin was likely to be fit, Dyche said: “Hopefully.”
The Everton boss went on to add: “He (Calvert-Lewin) has come through the last couple of days well.”
The England international went off at half-time during last week’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City with a tight groin.
Hopefully DCL will be available to play for the Blues, but if not then Sean Dyche must start Premier League winner Demarai Gray upfront.
The £15m summer signing Neal Maupay has been insipid all season, scoring just once and lacks both the presence and pace up front to play effectively under Dyche.
Ellis Simms is of course another option, but the 22-year-old lacks the experience to start a game of such importance.
Gray has performed well for Everton in the absence of Calvert-Lewin, and deserves the call ahead of Maupay
Gray, who has not been favoured by Dyche since his January appointment, is Everton’s second top goal scorer this season, with six goals in 34 games.
His pace up front would stretch the Wolves backline, allowing Everton to replicate the very effective counter-attacking style that worked so well at Brighton earlier this month.
Furthermore, Gray is capable of creating a goal single-handedly, scoring a number of unstoppable strikes from range for the Blues over the past two seasons.
Few other players within Everton’s squad have such an eye for goal as Demarai Gray, and if DCL is not fit enough to play, the 26-year-old Premier League winner must start.