EVERTON striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has opened up about the struggles with his mental health after an injury-hit season.
The 25-year-old England international started just 15 Premier League games for the Toffees in the 2021/22 campaign, scoring five goals.
A fractured toe earlier in the season kept him out for three months.
He then suffered more fitness issues during Everton’s crucial run-in, but was able to play some part in clinching their Premier League safety with one game to spare.
And Calvert-Lewin has now revealed the mental battle he has had to come through and the importance of talking about his feelings.
Speaking on Instagram, he said: “First of all thank you to you fans for sticking by us this season and for continuing to inspire us right until the last day of the season.
“The main goal became to stay in the Premier League and I don’t believe that would have happened without your unbelievable support.
“On a personal note I have had to dig deep within myself at times this season and have endured some of the most difficult times of my career and my life to date. The love and support helped carry me through.
“One thing I learned this season is that everyone in whatever walk of life is fighting battles you know nothing about, and there is no shame in finding someone to talk to and being open and honest with yourself about how you really feel.
“To all the young kings suppressing emotion I advise you to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen, talking saved my life.
“It will make you realise things are never as bad as they seem, and you’ll discover that the paradox of true strength is being able to face your weaknesses.
“Finishing the season on a high meant everything to me, enjoy the break toffee fans, you deserve it.
“May the pressure continue to be a privilege 🦋💙.”
Calvert-Lewin has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park this summer.
Despite Everton successfully avoiding the drop, they have still had a torrid campaign.
And with the World Cup around the corner, Calvert-Lewin may feel he needs to secure a move if he is to ensure a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the finals in Qatar.
He has been heavily linked with a switch to Arsenal given the Gunners’ two recognised strikers – Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah – are both out of contract in the summer.
Newcastle have also been muted as potential suitors.
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