Several recent reports have claimed that Arsenal and Newcastle United are interested in signing Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin this summer. However, the Toffees' boss Frank Lampard has now made it crystal clear that he wishes to retain the English forward whilst also heaping praise on the 25-year-old.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin rose to prominence as a result of his performances in the previous two seasons which saw him score 36 goals in 80 matches across competitions for Everton.
Calvert-Lewin has been plagued by injuries this season, however, and has only been able to make 15 appearances across competitions, scoring just 3 goals. Although the club's new manager Frank Lampard has hardly had a chance to work with him, he seems to have no doubt about the forward's value and pedigree.
Lampard is aware of the attention Calvert-Lewin has reportedly been getting from Arsenal and Newcastle United, with both clubs known to be in the hunt for a quality striker this summer. However, as per Metro, Lampard has made it abundantly clear that he thinks very highly of the 25-year-old and that the English forward features heavily in his plans for the club.
"He is a fantastic striker, the pedigree of striker that there aren’t many around. It’s been unfortunate for me, I think, that I haven’t had him fit.
"He’s had little moments but we know that strikers – particularly out of any position – need runs of games and fitness and confidence.
"We’ve never been able to get that for Dominic to be fair to him. But yeah, he’s a huge player, they are not very common. He is contracted to us, three years left on his contract, and I want to take this club forward and players like Dominic help that.
"I know he hasn’t been playing at the minute because he’s been getting fit, but now he’s fit, so hopefully he will contribute in the last few games for starters and then he’s our player.
While Lampard does acknowledge the outside interest in Calvert-Lewin, he claims that it is normal for a player at that level and that the speculation doesn't worry him. He said:
"He’s a player that would be wanted by clubs because of the level of player he is. There are not many strikers out there, they cost a lot of money. I’m not worried about him at all."
Arsenal need to sign a striker this summer
There is little doubt that Arsenal will be in the market for a striker this summer. The Gunners lost their lead striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to Barcelona earlier this year, and are yet to replace the impactful forward.
To exacerbate matters, the Gunners look likely to lose Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah this summer, with both their contracts set to expire at the end of the ongoing season as no new deals have been agreed yet.
Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin could be a suitable target, but following Frank Lampard's publicly disclosed desire to retain the striker, Arsenal's plan of action remains to be seen.
Notably, the Gunners are believed to also be targeting Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus, but will have to fend off interest from several other clubs if they seek to sign the Brazilian striker.