We continue our player by player review of the past Everton season, in which each individual will be recapped and rated. Next up: Tom Davies
It was certainly an up and down campaign for Tom Davies. In August he enjoyed the high of becoming the club’s youngest ever captain when he led the team out against Rotherham in the EFL Cup aged 20 years and 60 days. But by the winter he found himself out of the side completely, making just five starts since the turn of year.
But it is clear Marco Silva rates the 20-year-old. Not only did he give him the captain’s armband in August but also for a two-game spell in February. While a new four-year contract signed in April suggests the club see the him in their long-term plans.
Davies’ numbers are not particularly thrilling, with no goals or assists from his 16 Premier League appearances. It sums up a player who hasn’t quite found his feet in the Premier League just yet.
After making his first start of the campaign at Bournemouth in August, Davies kept his place in the side for six out of Everton’s next seven matches with arguably his most impressive display in the Toffees’ 2-1 win at Leicester in October. However, that would also prove to be his final appearance for two months, with Andre Gomes returning to fitness to make his debut against Crystal Palace the following week and then retaining his place in the side.
Davies’ next start was the 6-2 mauling by Tottenham just before Christmas. He briefly returned for a four-game spell at the start of February, but the defeat at Watford on February 9 would be his final start of the season, seeing just 10 minutes of competitive action from then until the end of the campaign.
The new contract is a sure sign that the club view Davies as a long-term prospect but it is difficult to see where he would fit into the side at present. He lacks the attributes to be a defensive midfielder but it I’m not sure he is effective further forward either. However, it is easy to forget how young he is despite being in and around the first team for three seasons now so he still has plenty of time to develop. Where he fits in the squad next season is certainly a conundrum for Marco Silva though and I will be interested to see how he deals with it.
Was only given fleeting opportunities to impress and it is still not certain where he will exactly fit into the side going forward.