Carlo Ancelotti has challenged Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to hit the 20 goals mark this season now he has furnished them with a ‘fantastic assists man’ in the shape of James Rodriguez.
After their end of season struggles last time out, Everton have started the season in totally contrasting form, the summer additions of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez having strengthened the side’s defence and also bolstered their creative output.
The Blues have won both of their opening Premier League games, and have comfortably seen off lower-league opposition to reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace, who have also won both of their opening two league games, Carlo Ancelotti reckons the that his pair of ‘fantastic strikers’ can both hit the 20 goals mark this season.
“We have two fantastic strikers and behind them James, [Andre] Gomes [Gylfi] Sigurdsson and Bernard,” Ancelotti said at his pre-match press conference. “Our strikers have to be happy because behind them are fantastic assist men.
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“I hope Dominic can reach 20 goals, he has the possibility, like Richarlison. I said to them, ‘You have to score at least 20 goals each’. James Rodriguez is going to help the strikers because he is a fantastic assists man.
“Dominic is young and has quality. The most important part [in his development] is the fact the player is really motivated to improve. The fact he is young means he has the possibility to improve his quality – we are trying to help him. You can see already the qualities of a fantastic striker.
“He can be a top striker if he adds consistency and, for a striker, consistency means scoring goals.”
The 61-year-old joked that he reckoned that even he could score goals if he were playing in front of Everton’s creative players: “If I play striker behind James and Gomes, and Sigurdsson, I would score goals, so they have to!”
So far, Calvert-Lewin has netted four goals this season, including a hat-trick against 10 man West Brom, while Richarlison opened his goalscoring account with a midweek brace against Fleetwood Town.