Sam Allardyce is urging “intelligent” Tom Davies to build on his terrific current form following the midfielder’s return to Everton's first-team fold.
Teenager Davies was recalled to the Toffees starting XI against Leicester City last week after impressing manager Allardyce with his training ground efforts.
He grasped his opportunity to shine with both hands, delivering a vibrant, purposeful display, as the Blues beat Leicester 2-1 – then drew praise from his manager for driving Everton forward with his forceful running and passing after being introduced as a half-time substitute in last week’s defeat at Arsenal.
Davies this week revealed his ambition to “cement” a regular place in the Toffees’ side – and admitted he wanted to add more goals and creativity to his game.
The Academy graduate has featured in 22 Premier League matches this term – 12 of them from the start. But he sat out three of the four fixtures immediately prior to the clash with Leicester.
“Tom really applied himself well in training,” Allardyce told evertonfc.com. “We told him, ‘You have to go and fight now’. And you wait to see that fight.
“A player can catch the eye, not just with me but with the coaching staff. They comment on it, I look at it, and that can get you back in the team. And from Tom’s point of view that got him back in the team.
“I see that [goals and creativity] as the mainstay of his ability. That is his strength. As a young player, there are times he could pick out a pass a little better, and times when he does not need to go forward quite as much.
“But he has really good attacking ability and makes some intelligent runs. At the end of that we are looking for assists or goals – or both.
“I feel that is his strength, in attacking midfield. Hopefully, he will continue to improve his performances and get some assists and goals at the end of it.”
Allardyce bolstered his attacking options in January with the purchases of England international Theo Walcott and 26-year-old striker Cenk Tosun.
Walcott made an explosive start to life at Goodison Park, creating Oumar Niasse’s point-saving strike against West Bromwich Albion on his debut before netting both Everton goals in the success against Leicester.
Tosun is yet to hit the target for his new club – but unlike seasoned Premier League campaigner Walcott, the former Besiktas player is still becoming accustomed to the unique demands of England’s top flight.
Allardyce insisted on signing Tosun that the player – who hit 20 league goals as Besiktas won the Turkish title last season and added another four in the club’s successful Champions League group stage campaign this term – would need time to bed into his new environment.
He stands by that view and is confident Tosun will soon discover the form which won him iconic status at his former home.
“It is difficult for him at the moment but it is a difficult league to play in,” said Allardyce. “We have to look at the situation in January and say, ‘Here you go, can you do it?’.
“That has been difficult for him. But it has been difficult for many players – and even more difficult in January.
“But we needed to try to find more goals and his scoring record was very good. Everything we looked at from the Club’s point of view – and I am not just talking about me and Steve Walsh – I am talking about the whole scouting system and the board, and the algorithm company we use, everything about it said, ‘yes’ [Tosun will succeed in England].
“We hope in the fullness of time that will be precisely the case and he will show for us exactly what he did at Besiktas.”