Everton News

View: Lampard must let ‘top player’ academy attacker loose, even Benitez gave him chance


Frank Lampard must bring Lewis Dobbin into the Everton first-team fold with the struggle for goals putting Premier League survival in jeopardy.

The 19-year-old made his breakthrough under Rafael Benitez earlier in the season, most notably with an encouraging display in the draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

But despite his credentials as a proponent of youth development after his time at the same stadium the current boss has only even included the youngster in one squad, for a four-minute cameo against Boreham Wood.

Goals have been at a major premium of late, with Salomon Rondon’s double in that game the only strikes besides Alex Iwobi’s winner against Newcastle in over six weeks now.

Big-money attacking pair Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have been nowhere near their best this season, with the former struggling for fitness and not finding the net since the third game of the season, and the latter only managing four this year.

And with former academy product Anthony Gordon arguably the Toffees’ best player this season, further help the first-team badly needs could be easily available.

There was some excitement when a new contract arrived for Dobbin immediately before Lampard took the reigns at Goodison Park.

Mason Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham are just some of the stars that came from the youth revolution he brought about at Stamford Bridge.

But he has been more reticent to turn to the academy talent in his time on Merseyside so far.

He perhaps feels that a relegation battle requires more experience, but considering how that is turning out a change is needed.

Some of the senior figures such as Michael Keane have looked most paralysed by the current pressure, while 21-year-old Gordon has shown more freedom.

While he hasn’t even been in a Premier League squad under the new manager, Dobbin has scored five in his last 10 Premier League 2 appearances.

He has featured all across the front three in that time so offers versatility as well.

David Unsworth previously said of the attacking talent, via Goal: “He’s going to be a top player, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.”

It is time to find out since at worst, the teenager is going to be bumped up the pecking order in the event of relegation so could use the experience.

But at best, he could avoid that altogether by making a telling difference in a strike-force that has been anaemic of late.