Everton are having their best start to a season in the Premier League era. The Toffees sit top of the table in no small part to Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Calvert-Lewin had quite the week. His goal against Brighton took him to the top of the Premier League scoring charts and he scored on his England debut. This week is merely a culmination of a year of improvement.
His performances last season were a significant step up from previous seasons. His shot numbers didn’t change much, but his expected goals (xG) improved from 0.26 xG per 90 to 0.49, according to fbref.com. This indicates he’s gone from getting mediocre shots to good ones, the difference between an average striker and a good one.
Calvert-Lewin was probably a top 10 Premier League striker last season. He finished sixth in non-penalty xG and 11th in shots per 90 among strikers, according to fbref.com. His 13 goals were more than double his previous career-high. That is a leap from where he’d been in the past. Now with an improved team around him, he may be taking another.
Calvert-Lewin has been phenomenal in the first few weeks of the season. His six Premier League goals have him tied for the league lead. On top of that, he’s scored three goals in another 135 minutes in the EFL Cup. This isn’t simply a run of impressive finishing either, his underlying numbers have been incredible. To this point, he’s taking 3.73 shots and registering 0.98 xG per 90 in the Premier League, according to fbref.com.
It is important to remember that the sample is tiny. It may just be four good games. However, if he performs at the level he did last season he’s an impressive striker. If he takes another step up, he may be the next elite English number nine.