After a sluggish end to 2019/20, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is suddenly all the rage. Ten goals in seven games to kick off this season include a goal on his international debut, and he has just been named September’s Player of the Month after firing Everton to the top of the Premier League.
Carlo Ancelotti has made a habit of getting the best out his strikers over the years.
Here are ten of the best-performing forwards under Uncle Carlo, all of whom DCL will be aiming match, as he seeks to carve out a legacy at Goodison Park.
Before Zlatan’s celebrated return to Milan, the big Swede was linked with a move to Everton, owing to his pre-existing relationship with Ancelotti, who had just taken the reins.
The two only spent one season together at Paris Saint-Germain, but it just so happened to be a very good one. Ibrahimovic cleared 30 Ligue 1 goals in 2012/13, and was directly involved in 53 goals in all competitions….in just 46 appearances.
Can we count Bale as a forward? Yeah, go on.
Ancelotti’s tenure at Real Madrid didn’t last as long as it ought to have, but he was there long enough to make an impression. Particularly on Bale, who played some of his best football under the Italian.
They ended up having a massive fall-out, with Ancelotti labelling him ‘selfish’ in the years since. Just a shame that we have to wait until April for that narrative to manifest itself in Everton vs Spurs.
Hernan Crespo was one of the most under-rated strikers of his generation. He also loved Ancelotti – like, really, loves Ancelotti.
He scored 43 goals in 103 appearances under him at Parma and Milan, and had this to say after his self-professed ‘mentor’ joined Everton.
“Carlo is like a father to me. Carlo is a passionate person; he is one of the coaches that helped to introduce me into Europe and helped me to establish myself. When I watch his matches for Everton, I want him to win because he’s a great person and a great manager.”
Alberto Gilardino just won his first match in charge of Serie D side Siena, but it doesn’t seem like that long ago he was hammering in the goals in the top flight. Because it wasn’t.
He only retired in 2018, and as recently as 2008, he was scoring regularly for Ancelotti’s Milan. He scored 44 goals over three successful seasons for the Rossoneri, though annoyingly missed out on a Serie A title. They won the league either side of his three-year stint.
Another beneficiary of Ancelotti’s brief spell in Madrid, Benzema hit a real hot streak under the Italian between 2013-15. He wasn’t quite the ludicrously prolific marksman he is now, but still managed a not-to-be-snuffed-at 46 goals in 98 appearances before his sacking.
Ancelotti frequently defended Benzema to the baying Spanish press during his time in Madrid, and later attempted to take him to Napoli if reports from 2018 are to be believed.
Drogba’s image is inseparable from the Abramovich era at Chelsea, and he was really hitting his peak around the time Ancelotti was recruited from Milan. The two might have worked together for less than two years, but almost a third of his goals for the club came during Carlo’s short but sweet tenure.
50 of his 164, to be exact. José Mourinho was the only manager he scored more under.
Ancelotti managed Lewandowski for a season. One season. One.
Yet he still scored 54 goals.
Shevchenko is best remembered in England for a terribly-fated spell with Chelsea, but that’s only because people in England tend to watch football with the blinkers on.
The best football of Shevchenko’s otherwise celebrated career came in a long stretch under Ancelotti in Milan, where the two won Serie A and the Champions League, as the Ukrainian amassed more than 100 goals for the Italian club.
When you ask someone to name the three players who have scored 100 or more goals under Ancelotti, Ronaldo is usually overlooked. Not because he wasn’t good, but because they only worked together for a couple of years – surely even Ronaldo couldn’t amass more than 100 goals over two seasons.
Well, if you thought that, then you’re a fool.
Because he did. 2014/15, in fact, saw Ronaldo net 62 goals in all competitions. Absolutely stupid numbers.
His 112 under Ancelotti came in 101 appearances.
But while Ronaldo is a sticky one to guess, Inzaghi…isn’t. He’s the obvious, front and centre, yeah-of-course-he-did pick.
He was the man in Italian football for almost all of Ancelotti’s time in Italy. Their Parma reunion at Milan was devastating, and it took him just 331 games to rack up 161 goals.
There are real parallels between Inzaghi and Calvert-Lewin, both of whom have mastered the art of economic movement and first-time finishes. If the newly England capped star can get even halfway there, then he’ll have been a resounding success.