Dominic Calvert-Lewin has started 2020-21 in outstanding form for Everton, leading to the possibility of an England debut in the coming days.
Having managed nine goals in six appearances across all competitions this season, Calvert-Lewin is the leading scorer in Europe's top five leagues.
He leads a list which also includes Tottenham pair Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, Bayern Munich great Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.
Calvert-Lewin's reward is a first call up to the England senior squad ahead of the friendly with Wales, which is followed by Nations League clashes with Belgium and Denmark.
But just how does Calvert-Lewin compare to his England team-mates, and what are the numbers behind his brilliant run under Carlo Ancelotti?
THE FERGUSON FACTOR AND CARLO'S MAGIC TOUCH
A wiry and energetic youngster, Calvert-Lewin's versatility and work ethic may have set him back in his early years at Everton, with Ronald Koeman, David Unsworth and Sam Allardyce all utilising the forward in a variety of positions. Indeed, new Barcelona boss Koeman even deployed Calvert-Lewin as a wing-back in Everton's opening league match of 2017-18.
Whether as a foil for Romelu Lukaku, Wayne Rooney or Cenk Tosun in those first two campaigns, Calvert-Lewin often played second fiddle to another striker and his goal figures reflected as much. He managed four in 28 appearances under Koeman, three in 19 under Allardyce and two in eight with Unsworth in temporary charge.
Marco Silva's tenure brought about Calvert-Lewin's first real chance to grasp his place as Everton's starting striker. He played 54 games and scored 13 times – averaging a goal every 209 minutes under the former Hull City boss, though consistency still alluded him, with his main task being to stretch opposing defences to benefit team-mates Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Yet Silva's departure after a dismal derby defeat to Liverpool last December signalled a change in fortunes for Calvert-Lewin, as Everton legend Duncan Ferguson called on the club's number nine to deliver.
"To have someone who's been there and done it to bounce ideas off him has been invaluable, I couldn't thank him enough," Calvert-Lewin said of Ferguson in an interview with Everton's website. "He knows me well enough now to know when I need an arm around me, or need a pointer here or there."
He has hardly looked back since and, after scoring a double in Ferguson's first game in charge, Calvert-Lewin swiftly became a key figure for Ancelotti.
Since Ancelotti took over on December 22, 2019, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (18) has scored more Premier League goals than the 23-year-old, who has 17 – level with Kane.
A FRESH START
While Everton's form pre-lockdown ticked up under Ancelotti, the Toffees managed just three wins from their nine matches after the restart, with Calvert-Lewin failing to add to his 13 goals.
Tame displays against Tottenham, Wolves and Bournemouth on the final day forced the club's hand, with Ancelotti overseeing a rebuild of the engine room in the transfer window – Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure bringing athleticism and nous, with James Rodriguez providing a much-needed sprinkling of stardust.
With a revamped midfield behind him, Calvert-Lewin has scored in every appearance he has made bar one, against Fleetwood Town in the EFL Cup.
Since the restart in June, Calvert-Lewin has made 15 appearances and netted nine goals in all competitions, scoring on average a goal every 132 minutes. That is a better rate than Vardy (139) and Salah (144), though some way behind his fellow England forwards Kane (15 goals, averaging out at one every 92 minutes) and Raheem Sterling (14 and 97).
His Ferguson-esque header against Brighton and Hove Albion moved him to seven headed league goals since the start of last season, more than any other player, while he scored two hat-tricks in successive Goodison Park appearances prior to Everton's 4-2 win over the Seagulls.
MOVING ON UP
It was no surprise to see Calvert-Lewin included in the England squad, but he must now prove himself on the international stage.
Since Ancelotti arrived at Everton, Ollie Watkins is the only Englishman currently playing in the Premier League to have scored more than Calvert-Lewin, though 13 of Watkins' goals in that period came in the Championship for Brentford.
Kane, with 17 goals from 21 appearances, has matched the Everton player’s output, while Manchester City star Sterling has 16 in 31.
Danny Ings has been a real success story over the past year but the Southampton forward has managed two fewer goals than Calvert-Lewin, while 2019-20 Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy sits on 11, equal with Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood and West Ham's Michail Antonio.
Across Europe, Calvert-Lewin is the frontrunner as it stands, with his nine goals in 475 minutes played in 2020-21 leading the way across the continent's top five leagues.
Kane and Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric are hot on his heels with eight each, while Son has seven to his name – though the Spurs duo have both played more minutes, 569 and 478 respectively.
Bundesliga stars Haaland and Lewandowski have five apiece, with Salah – who goes head-to-head with Calvert-Lewin in the Merseyside derby on October 17 – also managing five from six games so far this term.
Now, Gareth Southgate needs to work out a way to get the best out of Calvert-Lewin with England, just as Ancelotti has at club level.