Dominic Calvert-Lewin has told The Star that the opportunity to join Everton was simply too good to resist.
The former Sheffield United centre-forward completed his move, potentially worth around £1.4m, earlier this season after making 12 appearances for Chris Wilder’s side.
Although Calvert-Lewin admitted it had been a wrench to leave South Yorkshire after spending over 10 years at Bramall Lane, he said: “It’s an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. Everton is a great football club as is Sheffield United.
“Maybe I wasn’t that much in favour at United and getting the game time. Maybe sometimes you need a new opportunity. I was at Sheffield United a long time and often a change of scenery can do you good.”
With Wilder making no secret of the fact that promotion is United’s primary objective this season, Calvert-Lewin found first team chances in short supply following the 48-year-old’s appointment despite working with him during a spell on loan at Northampton Town last term. So, when Everton offered to pay a seven figure sum for the teenager’s services, a deal seemed to make perfect sense for all involved. Calvert-Lewin joined a top-flight club, Everton acquired a player with potential and United received a significant sum to invest in equipping their squad for the challenges of League One.
With Everton set to hand over a guaranteed £1m over the course of Calvert-Lewin’s contract, United will receive a further £400,00 when he makes his senior debut for Ronald Koeman’s side or wins an England under-21 cap. That prospect edged a little closer last week when he scored twice for the under-20’s during a 3-1 win over Germany at the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield.
“Playing and scoring for my country is a great feeling,” Calvert-Lewin said. “Maybe I should have got a hat-trick but I was delighted to get two on my first start for my country.”
Despite moving to Liverpool after joining Everton, United players past and present are still influencing his career. Louis Reed, his close friend and former team mate, was also a member of the England squad which faced Holland, the USA and Guido Streichsbier’s team earlier this month while David Unsworth and Jamie Hoyland are members of the academy staff at Goodison Park.
“I’m buzzing to be back with the boy Reed,” Calvert-Lewin said. “He dropped me a text and I didn’t know he was coming. We got back from training and he was there waiting at the hotel.
“I’ve settled in well (at Everton), I’m really enjoying it and working with different people. It’s a slightly different style of football and everything is geared towards making me a better player. The same as it was at Bramall Lane.
“Unsy is my main coach but him and Jamie are helping me a lot. David has really helped me settle in because I’m living a few hours away from home.”