After the high-profile arrivals of Allan, James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure, the focus now for Everton looks to be outgoings, with more than half a dozen players needing to be shifted off the books before next month’s deadline.
One of those players with an uncertain future is Tom Davies, who has seen his first-team chances diminish following Carlo’s summer shopping spree.
The reports claim Everton are keen to sell Davies permanently, while the Saints would prefer an initial loan until the end of the season, with the option to buy.
Despite Everton’s desire to sell, a loan move may be the best for everyone. Though many have given up on the youngster having a long-term Everton career, if he is to succeed at Goodison Park a short-term move away is probably what is needed.
Davies, who has previously been linked with Newcastle, struggled badly during the restart, offering little going forward or as a defensive shield. It is still not clear what sort of midfielder he wants to be and what is his preferred position, questions that should already have been answered at this stage of his career.
I do have some sympathy for Davies as his breakthrough into the side coincided with a turbulent few seasons that has seen him play under five different managers in four years.
On the other hand, having made more than 100 first-team appearances already, it cannot said that he hasn’t been given a chance.
A move to St Mary’s is the chance to get away and have something of a fresh start, playing under a progressive manager who plays high-pressing football.
If he succeeds then Southampton may be willing to pay a decent fee next summer, or we get a revived player ready to compete for a first-team place back at Goodison. If it doesn’t work then it would only confirm what many have thought all along.
Either way you suspect a move away from Merseyside, be it temporary or permanent, is what Tom Davies needs right now.