Lampard: Blunt Everton mustn’t overburden returning Calvert-Lewin
Dominic Calvert-Lewin could return to action this weekend (Getty Images)

Frank Lampard insists he is not going to put extra pressure on Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the Everton striker prepares to return to action after a lengthy lay-off with a knee problem.  The 25-year-old has not featured this season after sustaining the injury on the eve of the campaign, having also been sidelined for much of last season with injury.

Sunday’s Premier League match against West Ham United could see Calvert-Lewin make his long-awaited return. He has been training for the last two weeks and will be in the matchday squad for the game at Goodison Park.

Everton remain winless in the league having drawn four and lost two of their opening six games, they have also scored just four goals and the lack of a cutting edge up front has been apparent.

The signing of Neal Maupay late in the transfer window after Richarlison left for Tottenham Hotspur highlighted the need to address a blunt attack. Therefore the sight of Calvert-Lewin back on the pitch will be greatly welcomed by Everton supporters — albeit expectations may weigh heavy on the striker.

He knows he has support and advice from me and I try not to give him that pressure on top of that. I just try to talk football with him,” said Lampard. “I know what he can give us because he gave it to us at the back end of last season and he is experienced enough to deal with it.

Lampard confirmed Everton have opened contract talks with Anthony Gordon (Getty Images)

All we want is Dominic fit and firing but it is difficult with injuries as it can easily happen when you get one and then another one comes. He’s had that period and I just hope to see him playing regular football.

“He is not under any undue pressure from myself and the staff. We just want to see him in the best condition, so he can help us. Let’s all work in the right direction to get him fit and release some of that pressure by hopefully the team being strong with or without Dominic.

Calvert-Lewin’s return is offset by the loss of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who is out of action until after the international break due to a thigh injury. Asmir Begovic, who has made eight appearances in the last 12 months, will deputise and Lampard has no doubts about his No 2.

It’s a big loss because we all know what a great goalkeeper Jordan is. A great performer, big personality,” Lampard said. “We are fortunate to have a very strong number two in Begovic, who trains brilliantly, performs brilliantly and is a number one for me in terms of his performance levels.”

Everton open Gordon contract talks

The Everton manager also revealed the club are speaking to Anthony Gordon about a new contract after Chelsea targeted the forward in the transfer window but failed with two bids up to £50 million.

The club are speaking with Anthony’s people to see if we can get the right solution there,” Lampard added.