Former Manchester United skipper Rio Ferdinand has suggested that his former employers should look to sign Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the summer transfer window. The 24-year-old has enjoyed a brilliantly successful campaign with the Toffees this season, scoring 19 goals from 32 appearances in all competitions.
United are expected to be in the market for a top-class striker this summer, with Edinson Cavani likely to call time on his Old Trafford career upon the expiry of his one-year contract.
Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland is said to be at the top of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s wish list ahead of the transfer window, but is expected to command a fee of at least £130million with his £65m release clause coming into effect at the end of next season.
A number of other clubs including Real Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona are also in the hunt for Haaland’s signature, suggesting that the Red Devils will have their work cut out to stand any chance of coming out on top.
Ferdinand, who played 455 times for United during a 12-year spell at the club, has urged Solskjaer to switch his focus to Calvert-Lewin ahead of next season.
The 42-year-old highlighted the Everton star’s formidable finishing ability, suggesting that United are in need of a natural goalscorer able to convert the chances created by the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
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“Listen, Dominic Calvert-Lewin for me, I love him,” Ferdinand told the Five YouTube channel.
“I’ve watched a lot of Everton this year and he’s one that unnerves defenders. He’s not one you want to play against week in, week out. He’s aggressive, he attacks the ball.
“I was speaking to Carlo Ancelotti earlier this year and he mentioned [Filippo] Inzaghi and said he didn’t need many chances to score goals and he scores goals in and around the six-yard box.
“I look at Calvert-Lewin this season and he’s listened to that, he’s taken that on board. Obviously he seems a real good student of the game and he’s started putting that into his own game.
“We’ve seen the rewards he’s had, he’s got into the England squad by scoring loads of goals in and around the six-yard box, scoring those ugly goals. I think he’d be a fantastic signing for Manchester United.
“It’s one out of left field a little bit but I think he’d have a big impact. He’d get on the end of the things created by Fernandes, Pogba, [Marcus] Rashford, [Mason] Greenwood, etc.”
Everton are likely to be bracing themselves for an influx of bids for Calvert-Lewin, who could be a viable alternative option for many clubs harbouring hopes of signing Haaland.
The former Sheffield United man penned a new five-year deal back in March to keep him at Goodison Park until 2025.
The Toffees reportedly slapped an £80m price tag on their star man during pre-season to ward off any interested parties, and could hold out for a similar fee this time around.
Calvert-Lewin was rewarded for his excellent form with a maiden England call-up earlier this season, scoring on his debut against Wales in a comfortable 3-0 win at Wembley Stadium.
He was showered with high praise from Everton boss Ancelotti at the time, who hailed the forward as a well-rounded attacker with the potential to succeed on the international stage.
“He is a complete striker, it is not easy to find a striker with these characteristics,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“He has a lot of energy, is really fast. I am really pleased he is doing well and scoring goals because at the end a striker is judged on the goals he scores.
“It’s a great achievement for him [the England call-up]. I hope it will not be the last. It depends on him, he is doing really well. He needs to have consistency.”