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Tom Davies 26

Tom Davies joined Everton's Academy at Under-11 level and went on to become one of a crop of promising youngsters to put pen to paper on a professional contract with the club in the 2015-16 season. The then 17-year-old signed a two-year professional contract with the club in September 2015 after making good progress with the Under-21s and would find himself making his senior debut before that season was out.

The nephew of former Everton player Alan Whittle, Davies had played for England in their opening game at the Euro U17 tournament the previous May and would have featured in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile between October and November 2015 but he was handed a unique opportunty to train with the senior England training camp instead despite having yet to played for the Blues' first team.

That chance would arrive in April 2016, however, after he had returned to Everton's U21s where he pressed his claims for senior recognition with an impressive hat-trick. He was then handed his Premier League debut by manager Roberto Martínez in a 1–1 draw with Southampton at Goodison Park, entering the field of play as an 83rd-minute substitute for Darron Gibson.

It was on the final day of the 2015-16 season that young Davies really announced his arrival on the scene at Goodison Park when he was named in the starting XI by David Unsworth, standing in as caretaker manager following Martinez's dismissal three days earlier. Tom turned in a man-of-the-match calibre display of surprising maturity, playing his part in the third goal in a 3-0 victory over relegated Norwich City.

He established himself in Ronald Koeman's first-team squad during pre-season in 2016 and his prodigious talent was acknowledged with a new five-year contract that July but it wasn't until the winter that Davies would emerge as a future Everton star.

Despite a growing clamour among supporters for greater involvement in the first team, Koeman remained patient with Davies until the busy festive season when he used the 18-year-old off the bench twice before handing him a start in the first game of 2017 against the Dutchman's old team.

Davies rewarded that faith with an excellent performance and an assist for the third goal in a 3-0 win but it was in Everton's next league game that he announced himself to the nation as he turned in another man-of-the-match display as the Blues smashed title-chasing Manchester City 4-0. The teenager capped off that fine afternoon with his first goal for the club, starting and finishing the move with skill and a confident finish.

In April 2017, Everton restated their faith in their latest Academy protégé, awarding him with another improved five-year contract, less than seven months after the deal he signed in August 2016 and Koeman would underline that faith in him with plenty of game time for the rest of the season. 

So-called "second season syndrome" appeared to strike Tom, however, in 2017-18, coinciding with a collapse in Everton's form that would see Koeman sacked by October 2017 and Sam Allardyce named as manager in the Dutchman's stead. Davies would make 32 appearances in all competitions but concerns were raised over his form and whether he had been thrown into regular first-team action too soon.

He would demonstrate in flashes during the following season under Marco Silva why there had been so much buzz about him as a teenager and the new managerial hire would prove his faith in him by making him the youngest player to captain the senior side in Everton's history when he led them out for a League Cup tie against Lincoln City early in the 2018-19 season.

"The way the manager plays suits me and the way he wants me to play is how I like to play and see the game," Davies said of the Portuguese at the time. "It’s high tempo. He wants me to press, get forward, be a box-to-box midfielder. That’s how I want to play, really, so it’s good to have that sort of freedom and role in the team."

Perhaps to his long-term benefit, Tom would play fewer games during Silva's first season than he had under the previous two managers as the form of Andre Gomes and then Morgan Schneiderlin ensured that the youngster was used sparingly as a substitute.

His importance to the long-term future of the club was underlined in April 2019, however, when he was handed another extension to his contract that would tie him to Everton until 2023 and, thanks in part to injuries to Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, he was a first-team regular during the ill-fated 2019-20 campaign that saw the Blues slump into the relegation zone by early December and see Silva sacked.

Though the Portuguese's replacement, Carlo Ancelotti, brought about an uplift in form that lifted Everton back into the top half before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the campaign, both the team and Davies struggled for form after the Premier League resumed in June 2020. It led to an inquest around whether the young Scouser was a long-term, first-choice solution in the centre of the park or whether Ancelotti and Marcel Brands needed to address that area of the squad in the following transfer window.

And address it they did, with the acquisition of a new Holy Trinity of Allan, Doucouré and Rodriguez, which signalled a reduced role for Tom Davies, or a massive fight to establish his credentials in a much improved Everton midfield. As a result, Davies would spend a lot of time on the bench, and a lot of time as substitute, starting less than half of the Premier League and cup games, despite some fine words of support from Carlo Ancelotti.

Tom Davies started the 2021-22 season under new manager, Rafa Benitez, in the confirmed role of squad player, sitting out the first two Premier League games on the bench before he played in the League Cup 2nd Round win at Hudderefield Town. 

He would play again in the next round of the League Cup, at Queens Park Rangers, where he was the first in an epic penalty shoot-out of 14 almost perfect spot-kicks to fail by thinking he could roll one in delicately, with completely insufficient power.

The moment seemed too encapsulate Davies's lamentable football career with Everton.  His biggest problem seems to be  himself. His demeanour is all wrong. He doesn’t look like he takes the game seriously - perhaps it’s just a side dish for him. If you want to do anything in this game you have to be ultra professional; sacrifice everything to get to the top. His manner suggests that he is not driven enough for this level. It’s reflected in his all-too-easy-going, almost languid, gait.

FactFile

Squad numbers 26, 41
Position Midfielder
Nationality English
Born Liverpool
Date of birth 30 June 1998
Height 5'-11" (1.80 m)
Joined 23 September 2015
Joined from Everton Academy
Signed under Roberto Martinez
Transfer fee None
Contract duration 2 + 5 years
Contract expires June 2023
Debut (sub) v Southampton (h)
16 April 2016
Full debut v Norwich (h)
15 May 2016
Previous Clubs None
» Soccerbase Datafile
» Wikipedia Entry
» Transfermarkt

Media Articles
The making of Tom Davies – the Everton teenager with a style all his own

Everton Career

Season Squad No. League Apps (sub) League Goals Cup Apps (sub) Cup Goals Total Apps (sub) Total Goals
2021-22 26 1 (4) 1 2 (0) 0 3 (4) 1
2020-21 26 17 (8) 0 3 (2) 0 20 (10) 0
2019-20 26 23 (7) 1 2 (0) 1 25 (7) 2
2018-19 26 10 (6) 0 3 (0) 0 13 (6) 0
2017-18 26 20 (13) 2 6 (4) 0 26 (17) 2
2016-17 26 18 (6) 1 (0) 0 19 (6) 2
2015-16 41 1 (1) 0 0 (0) 0 1 (1) 0
  Totals 90 (45) 6 17 (6) 1 107 (51) 7


Under-21/-23 Stats

Season Team League
Appearances
League
Goals
Cup
Appearances
Cup
Goals
2016-17 Under-23s 13 (0) 0 2 (0) 0
2015-16 Under-21s 14 (1) 1 4 (1) 0
2014-15 Under-21s 3 (1) 0 1 (0) 0
2013-14 Under-21s 1 (0) 0 0 (0) 0


Under-18 Stats

Season Team League
Appearances
League
Goals
Cup
Appearances
Cup
Goals
2015-16 Under-18s 3 (0) 1 0 (0) 0
2014-15 Under-18s 16 (0) 1 0 (0) 0
2013-14 Under-18s 8 (0) 3 0 (0) 0


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