Everton are said to be “amazed” they managed to sign Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Sheffield United for just £1.5m.
A report from the Liverpool Echo reveals the details of the 2016 transfer. It was initiated by former Blades coach and player, David Unsworth.
Unsworth had worked with a young Calvert-Lewin at Bramall Lane before making the switch the Toffees Under-21s.
The 46-year-old continued to track the striker’s progress during loan spells at Stalybridge Celtic and Northampton Town. The arrival of Farhad Moshiri as owner and the decision to grant the Under-23s their own budget meant Unsworth could finally make his move.
Aged 19 and having played just 12 times for United and scored no goals, Calvert-Lewin made the switch to Merseyside.
How much did Calvert-Lewin leave Sheffield United for?
Robert Elstone, who was Everton chief executive at the time, was fully committed to the idea of signing young English talent from the EFL.
It had already proven fruitful 12 months prior Calvert-Lewin’s arrival when Mason Holgate was acquired from Barnsley.
So Elstone made a £1m bid for the forward, which was rejected by the Blades. Despite Unsworth believing Calvert-Lewin was a Premier League star in the making, no other teams were in for him.
There were rumours of interest from Manchester United, but nothing concrete. This is something the Red Devils may now be regretting, having been linked with a £50m move for Calvert-Lewin this season.
The Toffees were said to be “amazed” that the Blades were even entertaining the idea of selling the England Under-21 international. But they were keen to sign him and willing to bide their time.
In the end an offer of £1.5m was enough to seal the deal. This consisted of £400,000 to £500,000 upfront.
The article describes the transfer as a bargain comparable to the £60,000 signing of Seamus Coleman from Sligo Rovers in 2009.
It has taken Calvert-Lewin some time to truly show his talents on Merseyside. However, it has been proven this term with the 23-year-old scoring 15 goals in 32 appearances.