Chris Wilder on Dominic Calvert-Lewin's double assist for his managerial career, and why he thinks youngster will play for England

Chris Wilder says Dominic Calvert-Lewin played an important part in setting up the success he had at Northampton Town and now Sheffield United.

BRAVE: The teenage Dominic Calvert-Lewin impressed Chris Wilder with his attitude

But the Blades manager believes the Everton striker's journey has much further to go, tipping the 23-year-old to play for England.

Sheffield-born Calvert-Lewin started his career at Bramall Lane but Wilder first worked with him as an 18-year-old on loan at Northampton Town. His time in red-and-white stripes was brief, but like some of the other Blades products playing in the Premier League, he helped their progression by moving on.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

An unused substitute in this season's reverse fixture, he is set to make his first appearance against the club he supported as a boy at Bramall Lane on Monday.

“We would love him to still be a Sheffield United player, although I’m not sure he would be because he’s taken enormous strides,” said Wilder of a player who has scored 15 goals this season, although none since the resumption. “He’s a lovely kid and I’m absolutely delighted in terms of what he’s done in his career.

“I know he’s a massive United fan and I know how much this club means to him. But he had to look after himself and his career. He was still a young player here.

“The big thing is that when the Premier League comes knocking like it did for Rammers (Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale), Brooksy (his team-mate David Brooks) and Dom, you can’t do anything about it.

“It might sound daft, but the money we got for three or four players was at the time hugely important. We had to trim to get value for money and use the money we got right the way through.

“Brooksy’s money went towards signing John Egan and at that time Dominic’s money was important. We couldn't really stand in his way and it’s brilliant in terms of the progression.

“I would have loved us to be in that situation now where we have the likes of Brooksy, Rammers and Doms. It was what it was at the time, you have to move on and we have done.”

It was Calvert-Lewin's bravery which impressed Wilder when he was manager of then-League Two Northampton.

“He was great for us at Northampton in the first part of the (2015-16) season,” he said. “He set us up to have the success we had in that year.

“Hopefully he enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed managing him.

“He got us some important goals (five in 20 league games). He played his part. He’s a tremendous boy. I’ve got a lot of time for Dom, he’s a tremendous kid.

“I thought it was brave of him to go out on loan and get his hands dirty, which he certainly did.

“He was athletic, but very raw. He then went on to his next step at Everton and has improved being around really good players.

“He’s the one who has taken his career to the next level and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for that.”

Calvert-Lewin is in some ways a throwback centre-forward in an era when traditional No 9s are a dying breed but he also has the modern-day qualities Wilder thinks will be of interest to Gareth Southgate. He made such rapid strides under caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson, then permanent replacement Carlo Ancelotti that before the coronavirus pandemic caused football to be suspended, Calvert-Lewin looked to be making a strong case to gatecrash Euro 2020.

“Why not?” said Wilder when asked if Calvert-Lewin could wear the Three Lions. “He’s a modern-day centre-forward, he defends from the front. He’s athletic, he’s technically brave and strong and 15 goals in the Premier League is a huge achievement for a young player.

“I’m sure that will continue and he will keep improving. He’s the sort of centre-forward everyone is after, he does everything well.

“He runs down the sides, he gets in the box, he ticks all the boxes.

“It’s just a shame he is not playing in the red and white stripes of us at this time because he would have been a great asset to us.”

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected]. Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson

Editor