Everton player analysis: A detailed analysis of the rise of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and how he has become more dangerous in possession.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has received a lot of attention recently after his fantastic start to the Premier League season and rightly so. Much has been made of his evolution under Carlo Ancelotti since his arrival as Everton manager. Here I have analyzed what has changed with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s performances and how he has become more dangerous in possession.
By digging in to some of his underlying numbers as well as looking at his in game performances, I wanted to see what exactly has made him so successful this season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 2020/2021 Expected goal (xG) in the Premier League
So far this season in Premier league games, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored 11 goals in 16 matches. With an xG [expected goal] of 5.09 there’s no question, he has been clinical in front of goal. If we look at his numbers from last year he scored 13 goals in league play with an xG of 16.87 which indicates he was underperforming.
In addition to his goal scoring, he has also been taking more shots per match compared to last season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s Shots per 90 minutes since 2019.
- Season 2019/20: 1.90
- Season 20/21: 2.70
Not only has the quantity of his shots increased, but also the quality of attempts as well
Shots on target %
- Season 2019/20: 54%
- Season 20/21: 63%
With an increase in both quality and quantity of shots also comes another interesting statistical improvement. His xG [expected goal] per shot has increased from 0.16 last season to 0.23 this season, a solid indication of the quality of his shots.
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Everton’s 2020/2021 tactical change that is helping Dominic Calvert-Lewin
This season, Everton has played predominantly with 1 striker. This has allowed (or forced) Dominic Calvert-Lewin to stay in more central areas of the pitch and in front of the goal. A very interesting outcome of this: All 11 of his goals have been scored with one touch inside the box (4 headers and 7 with his right foot).
This tactical change has been key in his ability to score more goals. He has fantastic movement in and around the box and is now able to use that asset to find himself in great goal scoring situations where he can finish with one touch as mentioned above.
One thing I´d like to point out about Dominic Calvert-Lewin movement, is his knack for always making subtle adjustments and repositioning himself. This allows for 2 key things: He’s able to create better angles for himself to receive the ball and also allows for him to catch defenders on their blindside. Van Nistelrooy-esque type of positioning.
Another stat of his transition into a more central role is his touches in the attacking penalty area:
Calvert-Lewin’s Touches in the Attacking Penalty area per 90 minutes
- Season 2019/20: 4.93
- Season 20/21: 5.74
A clear indicator of his desire to receive centrally as opposed to receiving in the channels.
In addition to his increased touches in the Attacking Penalty area, his touches in the Attacking third have slightly increased, while both his touches in the Defensive third and Midfield third have decreased. Showing that his new role is based more on his attacking output than his defensive work.
His central role has also had an impact on his ball progression. By occupying more central areas and running the channels less, his Progressive Distance per 90 min has dropped from 45.2 yards to 34.3 yards this season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin : A threat in the Air
No analysis of Dominic Calvert-Lewin would be complete without mentioning the unbelievable threat he poses in air. Arguably one of the best aerial attackers in the Premier League, last season only 3 more players scored from headers, while he has continued that threat this season already scoring 4.
Some more data backing up his aerial dominance: Winning over 4 aerial duels per match means only 2 other attacking players have won more so far this season (Oliver McBurnie and Cris Wood at Sheffield and Burnley respectively).
There is no question in my mind the change of systems under Ancelotti as well as the addition of James Rodriguez among other things, has contributed to Dominic Calvert-Lewin´s improved attacking output. It will be interesting to see if he can sustain his performance levels over a whole season.