Source: Tom Davies Player via Facebook
For many decades now Everton has served as a footballing conveyor belt to some of England’s most exciting footballing talent: the Wayne Rooneys and Ross Barkleys of this world have paid their dues at Everton’s prestigious youth academy, and are seemingly better off for it.
The tenacity our Evertonian alumni show when out on the pitch is no result of sheer luck. Playing with pride and never relenting until the final whistle are all hallmarks of a player who’s plied his trade in the blue half of Merseyside. These attributes, I believe, are what separates the men from the boys, or if you like, the blues from the reds.
And after making his debut during the 2016/2017 season, midfielder Tom Davies is the latest of a host of names that look to make it on the big stage.
Ever since his first goal in Everton colours, which came in a 4-0 win over Man City, the obligatory hyperbole as to how far the youngster could go in the game began. The “build ’em up just to knock ’em down” rhetoric is something we’re all too familiar with now but it is still arguably fair to speculate just how much of an impact a player with Davies’ talent could make.
Is he destined for international stardom or will he find his career peter out Jack Rodwell-style? Here at Evertonians Club, we cite three reasons why young Tom has a bright future for both club and country.
An Eye for Goal
A goal scoring midfielder is something England have sorely lacked since Frank Lampard and co hung up their boots. With Russia 2018 just a year away, England themselves are currently priced at 18/1 to do the unthinkable and win the tournament itself.
Whilst a Tom Davies call-up may feel like light years away, solid performances between now and the time Gareth Southgate has to pick his 23 man squad (assuming England qualify) could see the self-confessed Everton fan bag himself a seat on the plane to Moscow next year.
With his goal-scoring exploits on show again in Everton’s 4-2 win over Leicester last weekend, Davies is now hitting the back of the net with much more regularity which can only be good news for his potential England chances.
His Feet Firmly on the Ground
Whilst not spending too much time in the public’s awareness, Davies’ interview with Soccer Am’s ‘Tubes’ last month certainly enlightened us to the kind of player and indeed young man he is.
At the age of just 18, he cuts more a sagacious figure than one would expect and doesn’t look in any danger of having his head turned by the many less-savoury perks that only a Premier League footballer could attain. Too many young talents (Ravel Morrison and Jack Wilshere to name a couple) have let their promising careers fall by the wayside, but with Tom and the close-knit Evertonian family he has built around him, you’d be loath to see his career to go the same way.
A Footballing Brain
For all his endeavour in the middle of the park, Davies has consistently proven this season that having raw physicality as well as footballing intelligence does not have to be mutually exclusive. With an assured touch to boot, some of what we’ve seen from the young English midfielder (including his complete performance against Leicester recently) tell us that he’s perhaps more rounded as a player than some of his English counterparts.
After seeing England outwitted time and time again by more accomplished nations on the international stage (see: the 2010 World Cup where a maths student helped plot England’s 4-1 defeat to the Germans), a dogged midfield general with the tactical nous to snuff out opposition attacks before they’ve even happened is something the English national team so badly need.
So Come on Gareth, What Are You Waiting for?
With the debacle of Euro 2016 still fresh in the memories for many of England’s players, current boss Gareth Southgate will be mindful of the task he faces in Russia. Whether it is too soon to take young Tom along for the ride in Moscow next year is another question, but based on what we’ve seen so far this season, at just 18 years of age, Davies is definitely a player who can look forward to a bright future for both club and country.