By Dan Carter

28th Sep, 2023 | 9:10pm

Andros Townsend: Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was never injury-prone

Despite his recent woes, Andros Townsend has claimed that Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin has never been an injury-prone player.

The Toffees’ forward scored his second goal in two matches against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (28 September) and looked back to the levels that most fans came to expect during the 2020/21 campaign where he scored 21 goals in all competitions.

It has been disappointing for Calvert-Lewin and Everton fans alike to witness his consistent struggle to stay fit over the last couple of seasons, but former teammate and now pundit Townsend has heaped praise on the England international for his work to return from injury.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, as quoted by BBC Sport (28 September, 11:16) he said: “Dominic has never been an injury-prone player. For Dominic, it was not about pressure to come back and save Everton, it was for his own sake.

“He needed to get back fit. Every time he broke down injured it killed him because he is not a player who doesn’t care about football.

“He doesn’t lead a lifestyle he shouldn’t. He does everything he can to make sure he is the best he can be, in terms of nutrition, gym, physio – he invests so much money. Every time he does break down, it kills him.

“The last time, at the end of last season, he was in tears because every time he got going something else went.”

Kills him

For Everton to climb up the Premier League table and remain well clear of the relegation places, they are going to need a consistent source of goals and among the team Sean Dyche currently has at his disposal, there are few as capable of finding the net as Calvert-Lewin.

On top of his knack for scoring goals, his love for Everton and his drive to see the Toffees succeed is incredibly evident from Townsend’s comments. To be in tears following another injury shows how much the striker wants to be part of Dyche’s team and remain fit and healthy.

His last two appearances have almost been a flashback to the Calvert-Lewin we all remember, but the crucial thing for both him and Everton now is keeping him fit. So often the Goodison faithful have seen glimpses of what the 26-year-old can do, only for him to be back in the treatment room again.

Given the work both the striker and the backroom team have done over pre-season to ensure that Calvert-Lewin is stronger and more durable than ever before, the hope will be he can lead the line as the Toffees compete in the middle of the table, rather than towards the foot of it.

It could be interesting to see him and Beto play alongside one another, their combined physical presence could terrorise defences.

In other Everton news, Kelechi Iheanacho has spoken out having been linked with the Toffees this summer