By Noel Whelan
Noel Whelan has claimed it would be “absolutely ridiculous” for Everton to start Dominic Calvert-Lewin against West Ham on Sunday (18 September).
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the signing of Neal Maupay gives Toffees boss Frank Lampard the opportunity to prevent “another setback” for the 25-year-old.
Calvert-Lewin suffered a knee injury on the eve of the Premier League season and is yet to feature for Everton in league or cup competition.
As pictured by club media (8 September), the England international returned to training this week and is expected to play a part against West Ham on Sunday.
The former Sheffield United man also endured an injury-plagued 2021-22 campaign, managing just five goals from 15 starts.
Whelan insisted Everton “need to take care of players like Calvert-Lewin” with another relegation battle possible this term.
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He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I think when you’ve got such a lengthy layoff, you need to have that cotton wool around him.
“The last thing Everton and Frank Lampard want is another setback. The intensity of a Premier League game is so much different to training.
“I think because they’ve gone out and got Maupay, that gives them the opportunity to be cautious with him and perhaps use him from the bench.
“It’d be absolutely ridiculous, unbelievable, to throw him back into the line-up in a relentless Premier League fixture.
“He needs bedding in, he needs time. You need to take care of players like Calvert-Lewin.”
In other news, Football Insider reveals major update on Ben Brereton Diaz’s future after Everton offer.
By Noel Whelan