Ronald Koeman has backed Everton’s promising youngster Tom Davies to make his mark on the first team in the second half of the season, although he will still be looking to bring in more experienced reinforcements in the January transfer window.
Davies and fellow youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin were both handed their first starts of the season by Koeman in Everton’s 3-0 victory over Southampton, becoming the first teenage duo to start in a Premier League fixture this term.
Calvert-Lewin went off injured early on, but Davies impressed in central midfield, providing the assist for Romelu Lukaku’s 89th-minute strike.
Koeman was encouraged by the performance of the 18-year-old, who made his Everton debut against the Dutchman’s Southampton side last season.
2 – Everton are the first team to start two teenagers in a Premier League game this season (Tom Davies & Dominic Calvert-Lewin). Kicks.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 2, 2017
“He’s doing well. He’s a young player and he needs time but he’s physically strong, and he came on two times before from the bench and played well,” Koeman said.
“But it is also about the fact that we will miss Idrissa Gueye [at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal] in the next couple of weeks, and we know sometimes we need to protect Gareth Barry.
“James McCarthy is still not fit, so we need as many players as possible in that area. So it is always good to have young players in, and it is really a good experience for them.”
Everton are reportedly set to be busy in this month’s transfer window, and Koeman confirmed they have identified targets, though added he would be leaving the task of getting deals over the line to those behind the scenes.
“Everybody, all the people in the club, know what we want and want to change, so it is up to them to work on that,” the Dutchman added.
“I am not so busy [with transfers]. I am busy with the fixtures we have and maybe the board will be busy to bring some players in.”
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