According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Everton director of football Marcel Brands fought a fierce battle to keep Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Goodison Park.
The 23-year-old grabbed a hat-trick in the 5-2 demolition of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but that might not have been possible had former Toffees manager Marco Silva had his way.
The Portuguese wanted former Juventus star Mario Mandzukic at Goodison Park last summer as he sought to bring in a guaranteed goalscorer, and some at the club believe Calvert-Lewin would now be elsewhere, on loan or permanently, had a move for the Croatian happened.
Brands fought hard for faith to be placed in the England youth international, finally getting to convince Silva not to pursue Mandzukic and instead give Calvert-Lewin the platform to continue his development.
That has yielded great results, with the striker registering four league goals thus far this season after ending last term with 13 goals in 36 league appearances.
Brands clearly has eyes for talents and potential given his wealth of experience, and he was certain that the Calvert-Lewin would eventually come good.
Boss Carlo Ancelotti is clearly impressed with the Englishman despite getting the chance to bring in another striker this summer, and making Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships will be on DCL’s mind.