Salomon Rondon's Everton arrival could be detrimental to Calvert-Lewin
Everton’s start to life under Rafa Benitez has been promising.
The Toffees have two wins and a draw from their opening three games, and last season’s top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin already has three goals.
However, on transfer deadline day, Benitez went out and added another striker to the Goodison Park ranks.
Now, fighting out for a starting role up front, the Toffees have Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Salomon Rondon.
The former Newcastle and Zenit forward was signed on a free from Benitez’s former club Dalian Professional (BBC).
On paper, having another striker is a good thing at Everton, but this could be one that hinders more than helps.
In all of Benitez’s three Premier League games so far he has lined up with a sole striker in Calvert-Lewin.
This has allowed a supporting cast Richarlison, Demarai Gray and one of Alex Iwobi or Andros Townsend to start behind the England man in either a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-2-3-1.
However, if Rondon is to become the favoured man at Everton under Benitez, as he was at Newcastle – scoring 26 and assisting 14 in 61 under Rafa (Transfermarkt) – it could be detrimental to Calvert-Lewin.
The £40.5m-rated forward (Transfermarkt) bagged himself 21 goals in all competitions for the Toffees last season.
That form saw him earn his first England caps and goals.
If Calvert-Lewin, as England’s clear second-choice forward behind Harry Kane, is to continue his impressive goal-scoring run, then playing in rotation to Rondon certainly won’t help.
Richarlison is able to step into the number nine role for the Toffees if needed and, with Demarai Gray also chipping in with goals, Rondon may do more stepping on toes than scoring goals.
If Rondon and Calvert-Lewin can play together successfully then it will be hailed as genius.
However, given their similar playing styles and Benitez’s consistency with single striker systems, this could be worrying for Everton’s #9