Tom Davies says he will treat his goal and man-of-the-match prize against Manchester City as a reward for years of hard work needed to progress through Everton’s famed youth setup.
The midfielder first entered Everton’s Academy as a 12-year-old from Tranmere Rovers, moving up the various age levels until reaching Premier League stardom.
Davies signed his first professional contract at Everton in September 2015, before agreeing revised terms last August.
The latest milestone in his rapid ascent to the top was the barnstorming midfield display in the 4-0 win at Goodison - a contribution which earned him a place in Squawka’s team of the week from Europe’s top five leagues.
In addition to netting the game’s third goal, he also had a hand in Romelu Lukaku’s opener, and finished the match with 70-per-cent pass completion statistics.
“It’s been difficult [to earn a first-team chance] but with the hard work I’ve put in, it’s definitely worth it,” Davies told evertontv. “Days like today, you do get the benefits of it.
“To score my first goal and beat Manchester City 4-0 is a really special day for me. I’m so thankful for it.”
In the lead-up to Sunday, Davies had spoken about how the chance to go head-to-head with Manchester City’s array of stars would provide him with a gauge of the progress he is making.
It was a test he passed with flying colours.
“There are a lot of players - the likes of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva - that have been around for a long time,” he added. “To be up against them on the pitch, it’s strange but it’s a good feeling to know that you are at that standard.
“I’ve just got to take each day as it comes. Hopefully days like this can come around more regularly. I just have to see where my career takes me.”