REVEALED: Everton ‘paid a lot less than £1.5m’ for Premier League joint top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin after swooping to sign him from Sheffield United in 2016… and ‘bargain’ deal still makes U23 boss David Unsworth smile!
- Everton’s top scorer Dominic Calvert Lewin was snapped up on a bargain in 2016
- David Unsworth said deal to sign him from Sheffield United was less than £1.5m
- The academy chief said he ‘still smiles’ about how the Toffees pulled the deal off
- He hailed the forward as ‘outstanding’ after becoming the top flight’s top scorer
Everton’s bargain deal to sign Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Sheffield United in 2016 was ‘a lot less than £1.5million’, according to the Under 23 boss David Unsworth.
The young forward has risen to prominence as the Toffees’ star striker this season after smashing in seven goals this season to become the Premier League’s joint-top scorer, and his progress will leave the club pinching themselves after snapping him up for such a modest fee.
Calvert-Lewin arrived at Goodison Park as a teenager for a reported fee of £1.5m, but Unsworth has poured cold water on that claim, insisting the actual price was much lower than most people think.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s cost less than £1.5m after joining in 2016, David Unsworth revealed
Academy chief Unsworth admitted he was ‘delighted’ to sign the forward for a ‘bargain’ price
‘I can assure you it was nowhere near the amount of money that people bandied about!’ He told Sky Sports. ‘I won’t say the exact fee but it was a lot less than what you just quoted.’
Unsworth, who also acts as the club’s academy chief, explained how Calvert-Lewin had fallen out of favour at the Blades and that he had watched his career closely in the lower leagues, admitting he was ‘delighted’ to bring him into the youth set-up.
‘I still smile when I think about how we managed to prise him away. It was all about timing and Sheffield United were in League One and had just got a new manager. Dominic wasn’t going to play a big part in trying to get them out of League One. Chris [Wilder] decided to go down the experience route and has proven to be very successful.
Unsworth admits the deal ‘still makes him smile’ and hailed the ‘outstanding’ England forward
‘We managed to get Dom into our Under 23s at the time, and he’s a player I’d worked with previously during my time as a coach at Sheffield United as a 16-year-old. I’d always followed him and tried to plot his journey when he went on two loan periods [at Stalybridge Celtic and Northampton Town].
‘I watched him and I was absolutely delighted to bring him to the club. It was a fantastic signing for us, and he is now producing the sorts of displays and playing as well as we could ever have imagined when he was a young player. He’s outstanding and has been a brilliant signing for us.’
Calvert-Lewin has grabbed headlines every week in the top flight by scoring in every game for Everton so far, with two hat-tricks coming against West Brom and West Ham. His coming-of-age campaign also saw him collect his first England cap – scoring on his debut against Wales.
Calvert-Lewin has seven goals already this season and is joint-top Premier League goalscorer
Unsworth stressed that while Everton staff could see his raw potential and felt they had secured a steal from Sheffield United, they had no idea he would become the star he is today.
‘We felt it was a bargain,’ he added. ‘We felt that we’d signed a quality player, but it’s easy now to sit here and say, “we knew he would play in our first team”. At the time, he had all the tools to potentially be a first-team player.
‘But Dominic has gone on and done brilliantly to jump over every hurdle he’s come across and taken every opportunity that’s come his way.
‘He’s just gone from strength to strength. He’s an outstanding player, an outstanding young man, and we’re all incredibly proud of him at Everton.’