View: Double Davies masterclass may keep Carlo Ancelotti favourite out the Everton XI
Tom Davies is entering a crucial stage in his Everton career and he may be peaking at the perfect time ahead of a key man’s return.
The 22-year-old Scouser is a product of the famed youth academy at Everton and burst onto the scene during the 2016/17 campaign.
There were high hopes placed on his shoulders but he failed to hit the heights expected of him in recent seasons and faded into squad member obscurity.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan were signed in the summer to be Everton’s two midfield enforcers and they made an exceptional start to life on Merseyside as the Blues became the early Premier League pace-setters.
However Carlo Ancelotti’s side tailed off and were struck when Allan was ruled out for an extended period after suffering an injury at Leicester City on December 16.
The 30-year-old is nearly back in action, though, with Ancelotti saying last week that he was close to making his comeback and he is a favourite of the Italian having played under him at Napoli too.
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There could be further midfield competition next month with Jean-Philippe Gbamin also set to make a long-awaited return from injury, while Fabian Delph has also returned to the first-team squad recently and is pushing for minutes.
The pressure has been on Davies to shine and though he produced mixed displays at the beginning of his inclusion in the team, he has really come into his own in recent games.
In the 3-3 draw with Manchester United and the 5-4 cup thriller against Tottenham Hotspur Davies was exceptional as he glided around the pitch with power and poise.
His quality on the ball has been sensational.
Davies’ 87.7% pass completion average for the season is impressive enough but against Manchester United and Spurs he upped it to 91% and 94% respectively [Wyscout], giving the ball away just seven times combined despite the topsy-turvy nature of both games.
Indeed what impressed us particularly at Goodison News was his positivity in possession as he was successful with all 12 passes he attempted into the penalty area in these two matches.
Furthermore his 73% season average rate for forward passes was dwarfed by his figures of 83% and 93% v Manchester United and Spurs.
He is finally showing the quality that every Blue knew he had but was not producing on a consistent basis.
As well as this his hunger and tenacity to harry the opposition has been evident for all to see.
With the likes of Allan, Gbamin and Delph all waiting in the wings to take his midfield spot, alongside Andre Gomes, he is hitting form at just the right time.
Allan might just find his path back to the first-team blocked for now.
In other Everton news, Blues monitoring Bundesliga defender ahead of summer move.