There is nothing better than a local homegrown player at a football club. He is like a representative of the fans but on the pitch. That should inspire young players, but often the expectations placed on these young stars are too high because the fans so desperately want them to succeed.
That brings us to Everton’s homegrown midfielder Tom Davies, who burst onto the football scene as a fearless teenager a few seasons ago. However, Davies is now 20 and he has struggled to develop his game on Merseyside.
Progress has stalled in the last 12 months
Davies is a popular player amongst the Everton fans because of that aforementioned love of a homegrown local player. Most Everton fans want him to succeed at the club because he is one of their own.
However, for all the hype surrounding the midfielder in his debut campaign, in reality, his progress has stalled. He does not seem to be any better equipped to deal with the Premier League at 20 than he did at 18.
In fact, Davies’ performances at 18 were probably better than those of the last year or so. Many Everton fans feel he would not get the same level of support if he were not a local lad.
Well, there is some truth in that theory. However, the main reason that Davies gets the support he does is because he comes across as such an affable young lad. He has been pictured riding his skateboard in the city centre, whilst also playing football with his mates.
Needs to start developing
However affable the youngster is, he will have to start producing the goods on the pitch in the near future. Everton boss Marco Silva is a coach who encourages attacking football and Davies’ main strength is driving forward, although he is not scared of a tackle.
A big problem for Davies is that he does not have a defined position. He does like to attack, but he has not yet developed the discipline to keep his position if he is playing in a central midfield pair.
That would likely mean that the number ten role would be more suitable for the youngster. However, the Toffees already have Icelandic playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson who is undisputed number ten, with Brazilian playmaker Bernard also able to operate in the role.
If Davies played in the number ten role he would have to produce a far better end product than he has in recent months. The youngster would also find it hard to compete with Sigurdsson’s output of goals and assists, especially as the former Swansea man takes the majority of set-pieces.
One of the main criticisms of Davies’ of late has been his careless use of the ball. He is an intelligent young footballer, but he has been far too careless with the ball in recent games.
Central midfielders returning to fitness
Tom Davies is about to have a lot more competition for a starting place in midfield. The youngster is not first-choice when everybody is fit, as Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin are the first-choice central midfield pair.
Competition for places in that Toffees midfield is about to get even more fierce with forgotten man James McCarthy now close to a return to fitness, along with new signing Andre Gomes.
Davies now has to up his game, especially as the Toffees are highly ambitious and looking for a top-six spot this season, a feat they are odds of 5/1 to achieve.
Davies looks to have massive potential and seems to have the personality to handle top-level football. He now needs to push on and if he can do that then he can be a very good player for club and country.
Will Tom Davies fulfil his potential at Everton?
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