Manchester United will be out to pile more misery on Everton this weekend when the two sides clash at Goodison Park in Saturday’s early kick-off. The Merseysiders’ suffered a disastrous 3-2 defeat away at Burnley on Wednesday night, a result which dragged them further into the relegation fight to leave them just one point and one place above the bottom three.
The visit of United is the first of a tough run of remaining matches for Everton, consequently making them one of the bookmaker’s favorites to succumb to the drop this year. And if they do, there’ll be a number of Premier League sides taking a keen interest in some of their star players who might be available for a cut-price fee.
United could well be one of these teams. This weekend’s fixture is an opportunity to take a closer look at some of the players who might be of interest this summer.
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One of the most obvious players of interest is striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. We know United will be in the market for at least one new forward with Edinson Cavani set to depart upon the expiration of his contract this summer, and Calvert-Lewin might just be the ideal replacement.
Since signing for the Toffees in 2016, the 25-year-old has been steadily developing year on year into a top well-rounded centre-forward. His best campaign from him to date came last season when he scored an impressive 21 goals, 16 of which came in the Premier League.
Only five players could better that return, yet unlike most of those five, none of his efforts came via penalties and it was in fact only Harry Kane (17) who scored more non-penalty league goals. Crucially though, Kane benefited from playing for a better team, meaning he averaged significantly more shots per 90 (3.9) than Calvert-Lewin did at Everton (2.5). He was therefore subsequently presented with more opportunities to score.
Calvert-Lewin’s not been able to replicate that output in front of goal this season and his last league strike came way back in August. That shouldn’t deter any United interest though as an injury layoff spanning five months of the season has played a huge part.
Beyond the goals, there’s a lot to like about Calvert-Lewin’s all-round attacking play. He stands at 6ft2in and has a massive leap, making him a huge aerial threat. He’s also renowned for his high work rate, good hold-up play and being willing to press and harry defenders when his side is without the ball.
The England international has the potential to develop into a forward of the quality that United need, and the fact that he could be available for a cut-price fee this summer – if Everton get relegated – should only add to his appeal.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.