Calvert-Lewin’s recent five-goal streak followed Duncan Ferguson making him Everton’s undisputed main striker, but Ancelotti’s glowing testimony may be the career game-changer.
“It was very kind words. For a man of his pedigree and the clubs he has worked at and the players he has worked with, some of the best in the world, to say that. It is all I can ask for really,” says Calvert-Lewin.
“He’s one of those guys that when he walks in the room he has that presence and that aura. I’ve seen him on the touchline in the Champions League, but now working with him up close, learning and soaking everything in, it’s an unbelievable time. He seems quite laid back, the instructions he’s given us have been clear and simple, and in such a short space of time altered the way we want to dominate possession and score goals. We’ve not had a lot of time to implement his plan but the more time we do get, the better it will be.
“It’s a real statement of intent by the club to get a manager of his calibre, getting us back to where we want to be at Everton.”
So what was Ancelotti’s immediate instruction to Calvert-Lewin?
“Be more selfish,” he says.
“Try and stay more central in between the two centre-halves, focus on getting around the goal more, getting in the box and the six-yard box. I have been guilty of running here, there and everywhere and not being enough of a goal threat. As a striker, you are judged on your goals. If you look at the last five games, if I can continue doing that, there is not a lot people can say after that.”
The goal spree brought talk of a £60-million bid from Manchester United, but it is a likely Goodison contract extension that provokes another smile.
“I am scoring goals for Everton and that is all I wanted to do since I joined the club. To be finally doing that now, changing it so soon doesn’t make much sense,” he says.
“I am enjoying my football, a big manager has come in and it is the perfect time to be an Everton fan and player. To have Carlo Ancelotti and Duncan Ferguson as influences – I can’t ask for any more. It is nice to be talked about in a positive light. You get talked about enough in a negative light, so enjoy the positives. Use it as fuel for performances.”
And then there are international ambitions.