Arsenal chasing the signature of 24-year-old English hitman next summer– can Benitez afford to let him go?

Transfer News: Arsenal looking to seal a deal for Everton ace Dominic Calvert-Lewin

According to transfer news on The Mirror, Arsenal are looking to get a deal over the line for Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin next summer. The striker has been out for the majority of this season due to a thigh injury but remains an important player under new boss Rafa Benitez.

A product of the Sheffield United academy, Calvert-Lewin rose through the ranks and impressed his coaches. In 2016, he sealed a move to Everton and learned his trade under the tutelage of Ronald Koeman. However, he started to hit his peak only under Carlo Ancelotti after the Italian was appointed head coach in 2019. 

Could he move to the Emirates now? And can Benitez afford to let his prized asset leave the club?

Everton need to build around Dominic Calvert-Lewin rather than churning a profit out of him

Since joining the Toffees in 2016, the Englishman has made 176 appearances. In the process, he has also racked up 56 goals and a further 16 assists. Last season, he banged in 21 goals and provided 5 assists in 39 appearances across all competitions as he helped Everton seal a top-half finish. 

Arsenal are looking to sign Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Everton.
Arsenal are looking to sign Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Everton. (Getty Images)

His performances led to Gareth Southgate also selecting him for the European Championship this year, as he worked as an able deputy to Harry Kane. A thigh injury has restricted his game-time this season, but he could return in a few weeks. Arsenal are looking to add to their ranks and is viewing the English international as a viable option.

Arsenal meanwhile needs Alexandre Lacazette

The Gunners still have to work through the contract situation of Alexandre Lacazette, and if he decides to leave, they might need reinforcements. Calvert-Lewin suits their current needs as he is a Premier League-seasoned striker and of a good age profile. He knows his way around the box and could become a potent goal threat for them, if he decides to move to the Emirates.

However, these are also the reasons why the Blues should retain their star centre-forward. The 24-year-old is arguably one of their best players and they need to build the team around him. The Toffees have suffered in his absence this season, picking up only 4 victories out of 14 games. Goals have been hard to come by, evidenced by their measly 17 strikes

Benitez has been appointed to orchestrate the rise of the club. That is not really going to happen if they sell their best players. Finding a like-for-like replacement, especially a home-grown talent, may not be easy or cheap. Everton do need to rebuild, but selling a player that can dig them out of holes is not a smart decision.

Lack of replacements

Even if Everton decide to cash in on Calvert-Lewin, there is no specific plan to replace him. Richarlison is a great option but he has often played down the wings. Salomon Rondon has also done very little to convince Benitez that he can lead the line effectively.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is contracted to Everton until 2025.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is contracted to Everton until 2025. (Getty Images)

Josh King was a decent option, but the club allowed him to leave and join Watford this summer. Cenk Tosun is another alternative but has clearly struggled to cut it in the Premier League when it comes to getting regular starts or goals. In terms of the transfer market, it depends on how much Everton would be willing to invest to get in a striker like the Englishman.

Thus, there is very little upside to selling the 24-year-old. The player might have his own ambitions, but he is contracted to the club until 2025. Once a quality squad is assembled, the Toffees could think about letting their main man leave the club. 

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Arsenal can benefit from his services, but his departure could have severe effects on the Merseyside club. They are currently 14th on the table, and without his goals, the men in blue might have an even tougher time in the league. 

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