Ronald Koeman says he will be patient with Tom Davies, insisting the midfielder is developing just as much from training regularly with Everton’s first-team squad as he is playing in the Premier League.
The 19-year-old midfielder made his Everton debut in April against Southampton and later went on to make a first start for the Club on the last day of the 2015/16 campaign in the 3-0 victory over Norwich City.
Since Koeman has taken charge, he has fielded Davies three times, most recently from the bench at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
“He’s developing well,” Koeman told evertontv. “It’s always difficult for young players but they need to know that we really believe in them. Obviously you need to be a little bit patient but after they have made their debut - they know the level they need to be at, to compete against clubs like Chelsea. It was a very good experience and it will help him to improve and become a better player.”
There could be further opportunities for Davies to stake a claim in the coming weeks. Gareth Barry is suspended for the Swansea City next weekend and James McCarthy is recovering from the hamstring injury that has kept him out of the matches against Burnley and West Ham, plus the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier with Austria.
Even if the Academy graduate doesn’t add to his appearances in the coming weeks, Koeman believes he is becoming a better player simply by being in the first-team environment at Finch Farm on a regular basis.
Koeman continued: “We have a strong squad. Of course it’s about suspensions and injuries but I believe in young players and if he [Davies] doesn’t play for the first-team, he needs to play for the Under-23s. Young players need a game every week, to learn and improve. The rest of the week and with training sessions, he is a part of the first-team squad.
“Those training sessions are important for him because he is competing against first-team players who are used to the intensity of the Premier League.
“It’s important to get into that rhythm and that’s the support we like to give Tom and the rest of the young players.”